The plot on this one sounds pretty unoriginal – rookie London cop sees ghosts – but it ended up taking a few unexpected turns.
Peter Grant is a rookie, just about to be assigned to the most boring and paperwork-heavy department, when a ghost tells him he witnessed a murder. Peter checks into the ghost’s story (very open-minded of him, I thought) and finds out that maybe he’s not going crazy. Then he gets assigned to the mysterious Detective Nightingale, and learns all sorts of secrets about what really goes on in the world. Wizards are real, but not the Harry Potter style. Vampires are real, but not the Lestat kind. River gods are real, and they will seriously mess you up if you don’t mind your manners.
Peter quickly gets up to speed as a malevolent force continues its killing spree throughout London. It’s part mystery and part urban fantasy. In the first couple of chapters, I thought it was going to be on the cozy side of mysteries, but the crimes got DARK. It did feel a little disjointed overall, with some dropped threads and some shoe-horned in chapters, but it felt like forgivable “first in the series” growing pains. I liked Peter a lot, though, and his creative problem-solving, so I will definitely try the next one. And I like that he doesn’t always win. He’s a good guy, with good instincts, but he’s still a rookie (cop and wizard), and sometimes what he tries doesn’t work. You don’t see that much, and it kept things interesting.