I’m definitely rolling downhill with these Rivers of London/Peter Grant books. They are predictably a delight, and I catch myself racing through them and savoring them all at once.
I’m very happy to report that The Hanging Tree provides a great moving-forward of things, myth-arc-wise. I had been a little worried after the two graphic novel intervals between this and Foxglove Summer. But we’re back on track, with delightful reference to the happenings of Body Work and Night Witch (and only a handful of contradictions).
In fact, I would say that The Hanging Tree is stronger than some of the other “middle” books of the series. I say “middle” not knowing how many Aaronovitch is planning to write, but knowing for sure that I’m all caught up except for Black Mould, another graphic novel, which is sitting on the coffee table waiting for me, and the next novel which will release in a couple of weeks. But I like to imagine that there will be five or so more of these, because they are just delicious.
Sorry, back to my point that this is one of the strongest offerings so far. I’ve complained in the past that some of the novels have too many plot lines, and the details are hard to keep track of. This one isn’t any less complex, but it is definitely clear while maintaining its standard cheeky tone with the right amount of tension and momentum all mixed in. It’s hard to imagine during the course of reading it that it will ever all come together, and then the finale is chefkissinghisfingersMWUH.gif
The cast of characters is expanding nicely, and Aaronovitch really does give each person their due. I don’t think I’ve talked about it in my previous reviews for this series, but I think it’s highly notable how diverse the group is. Nightingale, Peter’s supervisor and the master magician, is the only “good guy” white dude in the bunch (aside from Peter’s father, who only makes occasional cameos). Everyone else on Team Good is brown, queer, female, non-Christian, or some fantastic combination thereof, and I am here for that. There’s something lovely about the fact that Peter, who always characterizes the people he’s meeting, only describes the race of a new character when they happen to be white. In the first couple of books, I thought I might be “reading” too much into it, but it has been a consistent thread, and it’s a really lovely extra bonus to what has quickly become one of my favorite series.