What if magic really existed?

CityRead 2015 Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

riversWhat if magic really existed? What if it was controlled by a secret coterie and used to protect the public from bad-natured spirits and bogeymen? So far, so familiar – think Harry Potter meets Strange & Norrell. But Ben Aaronovitch offers up something new by putting the Metropolitan Police Force at the heart of his magical world.

Following a ghostly encounter in Covent Garden, junior Policeman Peter Grant discovers that the Met have a secret unit dedicated to magic and the supernatural. Grant becomes a novitiate, under the tutelage of enigmatic Detective Inspector Thomas Nightingale, and soon picks up an incantation or two. The rest of the book bounces around two cases – keeping the peace between various river deities (including Old Father Thames), and tracking down a malign spirit whose hobbies include magically cracking open people’s faces until they look like Mr Punch.

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