Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Back in the summer I’d made the mistake of telling my mum what I did for a living.


It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.


PC Peter Grant is back with another mysterious murder. After battling murderous ghosts and jazz vampires, he now has to go way down: into the London Underground, where an American art student was killed with a piece of magic pottery of all things.

Better still, his Dad is a bigwig in America, which means Peter has to juggle the London Murder Squad, magic and Agent Reynolds from the FBI. Oh and it’s just a few days before Christmas, a fun time to go traipsing around the London Underground and the sewers.

It was another great mystery exploring a different part of the London supernatural community. And PC Lesley finally plays a bit of a bigger role, which was great. I really like Lesley.

The downside of not calling the BTP would be that, should anything happen to Abigail, it would effectively be the end of my career and probably, because her father was an old-fashioned West African patriarch, my life as well.

The downside of calling them would be explaining what I was looking for, and having them laugh at me.

Like young men from the dawn of time I decided to choose the risk of death over certain humiliation.

I also liked the fact that there is no woman-of-the-book in this one. You know, the woman somehow connected to the mystery, who falls madly in love with Peter and then they proceed to screw. Did not miss that one at all.

There are tangents again, however. After reading more about the London street systems and jazz in the last book, this one is all about architecture. I really don’t care all that much about architecture or the history of architecture.

Kevin had stopped outside an odd late-Victorian terrace consisting of exactly three houses that abutted the back of a 1930s London brick shopping arcade. I forbore from mentioning this to Lesley because discussion of that sort of thing tends to get her vexed.

Me too, Lesley, me too. But I can live with those parts because the rest of the book is fun, action-packed and just a great read.


Another fascinating mystery expanding the world that is unnatural London.


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