Midnight Riot

Rivers of London Band 1

"Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz. It is a hilarious, keenly imagined caper."-Diana Gabaldon

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

"Filled with detail and imagination . . . Aaronovitch is a name to watch."-Peter F. Hamilton

"Fresh, original, and a wonderful read . . . I loved it."-Charlaine Harris
"Fresh, original and a wonderful read. I loved it."-Charlaine Harris

"Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz. It is a hilarious, keenly imagined caper."-Diana Gabaldon

"Filled with detail and imagination . . . Aaronovitch is a name to watch."-Peter F. Hamilton

"The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter."-io9

"Aaronovitch has created a fun and funny character in Grant, who displays wit more than snark (a welcome attitude) and shows he can think on his feet. . . . It's a great start to what will hopefully be a long series of adventures."-SFrevu
Ben Aaronovitch was born in London in 1964 and had the kind of dull routine childhood that drives a man to drink or to science fiction. He is a screenwriter, with early notable success on BBC television’s legendary
Doctor Who, for which he wrote some episodes now widely regarded as classics, and which even he is quite fond of. He has also penned several groundbreaking TV tie-in novels. After a decade of such work, he decided it was time to show the world what he could really do and embarked on his first serious original novel. The result is
Midnight Riot, the debut adventure of Peter Grant.
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  • Chapter 1

    Material Witness

    IT STARTED at one thirty on a cold Tuesday morning in January when Martin Turner, street performer and, in his own words, apprentice gigolo, tripped over a body in front of the West Portico of St. Paul's at Covent Garden. Martin, who was none too sober himself, at first thought the body was that of one of the many celebrants who had chosen the Piazza as a convenient outdoor toilet and dormitory. Being a seasoned Londoner, Martin gave the body the "London once-over"-a quick glance to determine whether this was a drunk, a crazy or a human being in distress. The fact that it was entirely possible for someone to be all three simultaneously is why good-Samaritanism in London is considered an extreme sport-like BASE jumping or crocodile wrestling. Martin, noting the good quality coat and shoes, had just pegged the body as a drunk when he noticed that it was in fact missing its head.

    As Martin noted, to the detectives conducting his interview, it was a good thing he'd been inebriated, because otherwise he would have wasted time screaming and running about-especially once he realized he was standing in a pool of blood. Instead, with the slow methodical patience of the drunk and terrified, Martin Turner dialed 999 and asked for the police.

    The police emergency center alerted the nearest Incident Response Vehicle and the first officers arrived on the scene six minutes later. One officer stayed with a suddenly sober Martin while his partner confirmed that there was a body and that, everything else being equal, it probably wasn't a case of accidental death. They found the head six meters away where it had rolled behind one of the neoclassical columns that fronted the church's portico. The responding officers reported back to control, who alerted the area Murder Investigation Team, whose duty officer, the most junior detective constable on the team, arrived half an hour later. He took one look at Mr. Headless and woke his governor. With that, the whole pomp and majesty that is a Metropolitan Police murder investigation descended on the twenty-five meters of open cobbles between the church portico and the market building. The pathologist arrived to certify death, make a preliminary assessment of the cause and cart the body away for its postmortem. (There was a short delay while they found a big enough evidence bag for the head.) The forensic teams turned up mob-handed and, to prove that they were the important ones, demanded that the secure perimeter be extended to include the whole west end of the Piazza. To do this they needed more uniforms at the scene, so the DCI who was Chief Investigating Officer called up Charing Cross nick and asked if they had any to spare. The shift commander, upon hearing the magic word "overtime," marched into the section house and volunteered everyone out of their nice warm beds. Thus the secure perimeter was expanded, searches were made, junior detectives were sent off on mysterious errands and finally, at just after five o'clock, it all ground to a halt. The body was gone, the detectives had left and the forensic people unanimously agreed there was nothing more that could be done until dawn-which was three hours away. Until then, they just needed a couple of mugs to guard the crime scene until shift change.

    Which is how I came to be standing around Covent Garden in a freezing wind at six o'clock in the morning and why it was me that met the ghost.

    Sometimes I wonder whether if I'd been the one that went for coffee and not Leslie May my life would have been much less interesting and certainly much less dangerous. Could it have been anyone, or was it destiny? When I'm considering this I find it helpful to quote the wisdom of my father, who once told me, "Who knows why the fuck anything happens?"

    COVENT GARDEN is a large piazza in the center of London with the Royal Opera House at the east end, a covered
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Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 320
Erscheinungsdatum 01.02.2011
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-345-52425-6
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 17,7/10,8/2,4 cm
Gewicht 158 g
Verkaufsrang 2253
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