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by Ben Aaronovitch
Del Rey, July 2012
303 pages
ISBN: 0345524616

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

I'm sure I'm not alone in being fascinated by novels that take readers under busy metro areas. Not only is there is an entirely different society of shadow people to be found, there are so many clues to the city's history and long buried secrets down below as well.

In Aaronovitch's third urban fantasy mystery with Peter Grant, as the protagonist, the author takes readers deep beneath the city of London. As readers travel through the sewers and along the old metro tracks, the author throws in all sorts of interesting London trivia.

When the body of an American exchange student is found at the end of the Baker Street Metro tunnel, Peter, a sorcerer's apprentice as well as an attaché to the police department, has his hands full. Not only is the victim an American, his family is fairly important and well connected. The very fact that Peter was put on the case at all says there are some "otherworldly" elements to this case. But on top of the regular static he receives for his work, this victim had friends in high places-or at least his family does. So, before Peter really had a chance to sort out what he was dealing with, along comes an American FBI agent to oversee the case for the parents back home. Worse, the FBI agent is a fundamentalist Christian who, Peter is fairly sure, is going to take a very dim view of the magic involved in the case.

There is a lot of humor in this book as Peter and his cohorts bumble around in the underground of London. The author makes a point to include references to other fictional characters and series. From the character looking for the Hogwart's Express to the body being found at the end of the Baker Street tunnel, these references just add to the fun.

I am not a reader of Urban Fantasy and so until this book, had not sampled the Peter Grant series. I picked this book on a whim for something completely different from my normal reading. Having not read the earlier books in the series presented no problem whatsoever in enjoying WHISPERS UNDERGROUND. The strong characters and his fanciful treatment of police work will however, definitely bring me back for more.

Readers who enjoy the Peculiar Crime Unit mysteries by Christopher Fowler certainly should give these books a try.

§ Caryn St.Clair resides in University City, Missouri and is a former elementary school media specialist, President of the Parks Commission and a docent at the St.Louis Zoo.

Reviewed by Caryn St Clair, August 2012

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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