Every entry into Rivers of London starts with a splash; we are always diving head-first, sometimes literally, into rivers of blood. Every delightful cover, all done by Patrick Knowles, is a map with a big, red, bloody “X” marking the spot. Every cover is a map, every map is filled with teensy tiny detail, and every seemingly unrelated sketch or nursery rhyme lyric builds together into the marvelous mess that is London. I love his minute details; I feel like I’m looking at a Where’s Waldo illustration for the criminally insane.
Lies Sleeping is the latest entry into this world; there’s another installment due next year but I don’t know if it’s the finale (and I don’t want to know, either). Whether we are speeding towards the end or not, Lies Sleeping has a real penultimate-episode-feel. The wheels have come off the magical car, and everyone is scrambling to survive. What are Peter and company surviving this time?
The Faceless Man and Lesley are back and brutal as ever! Mr. Punch is here and mad as hell – pick a definition of mad, he fits it! Viking ghosts are on the move! Giant talking foxes with Cockney accents have been keeping an eye on the creepings about! Ancient Tyburn and other defenders and founders of Londinium are on guard! We finally get to meet Mrs. Stephanopolous! Oh, and Excalibur may be in play, as well as the folkloric folks with whom it is associated! I love Arthurian nonsense, and I especially love watching people who willingly misinterpret and weaponize stories fall to pieces when they realizes that Arthur and co. are not coming to “make England great again”. Aaronovitch, as always, manages to land meaningful and pointed jabs at Brexit jerks, racists, and the dangerously wealthy. The follies of the power-mad will always be undone by The Folly…at least I hope they will!