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What is a good audiobook series? The compelling Rivers of London

What makes a good audiobook series?

A highly accomplished narrator reading compelling stories of appealing characters in evocative settings.

Plus, an addictive quality to the writing.

The Rivers of London, written by Ben Aaronovitch, and narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, is an excellent, highly engaging audiobook series.

'Weird bollocks'

Peter Grant is a wittily sardonic, attitude-laden Detective Constable working for London's Metropolitan Police Service.

Post-probation, Peter is assigned to the (plausibly deniable) Special Assessment Unit, responsible for dealing with 'weird bollocks'.

Working under the command of the calm and proper Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, Peter risks life and limb, and worse, the wrath of his Mum, to survive the policing of ghosts, vampires, and other deeply malevolent phenomena.

Peter also has to cope with weird housekeeper Molly, sausage-obsessed Toby the dog, and powerful river deities.

Reality and fantasy cleverly entwined

Embedding the fantasy of magic in gritty London policing, Ben Aaronovitch creates a fascinating and entirely credible world. With a cast of meticulously described, convincing characters beautifully voiced by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, The Rivers of London stories are enjoyable, compelling, and addictive.

After finishing one book in the series, I immediately had to download the next one.

You know you're listening to excellent writing when you mistake fiction for reality.

'I'd really like to meet Peter' flitted through my mind for an instant the other day. Before I recalled, a moment later, he was a fictional character!

We're drawn into the story by detailed descriptions of familiar London locations, received by the listener with a satisfying start of recognition.

Incorporating this with informed descriptions of modern police procedures and the mocking streetwise style of Peter Grant adds a satisfying authenticity.

"My story really begins when I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead..."

Ben Aaronovitch succeeds in making magic credible. It's simply part of the world he’s created.

Give this magical police procedural a try

I love the sardonic Peter Grant and prim DCI Nightingale, the clever blend of police procedural and fantasy storytelling, and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's excellent narration.

The Rivers of London series is a delight to listen to and is highly recommended.

If you like gritty police procedurals, don't let the fantasy aspect put you off - give this series a try; it’s great.

Happy listening!

If you enjoyed the Rivers of London series, you may also like Something Rotten, Nighthawking, The Disappearing Act, In The Name Of, or Can you See Her.

Prefer physical books to audiobooks? Buy the Rivers of London series from and support independent booksellers.

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