Book Review – The Hanging Tree – Ben Aaronovitch
Book: The Hanging Tree
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year of Release: 2016
Read 294-page paperback edition in April 2017.
In the sixth book of his Rivers of London series, author Ben Aaronovitch takes us back into the life of Constable Peter Grant, a man who is developing his magical skills as an apprentice under DCI Nightingale, in a special division of the London police. Grant’s relationship with a river goddess, Beverley Brook, is developing nicely, and things are well in his life.
However, when a family member of Beverley’s is implicated in a murder that has magical properties all over it, Nightingale and Grant investigate. And their work takes a total turn to something even more intense when the Faceless Man and Leslie return to London, with a vengeance. They leave a wake of destruction as they search for a priceless magical artifact, and it is up to Grant and Nightingale of the Folly to stop them.
This was a fantastic book, and probably one of the best in the six-book series. Aaronovitch has really his his stride here, and has created a near-perfect novel in his creation. There has been much world-building in the previous novels, and he hits the ground running with this novel.
What works so well in this outing is that Aaronovitch chooses a perfect balance of action and excitement within a new detective story, plus the inclusion of earlier investigations with returning characters, like Leslie, The Faceless Man, and others.
Aaronovitch also balances the action and the detective work with information on the personal life of Peter, talking about his family life and his interesting relationship with a river goddess.
The one downside to the novel was less time devoted to Nightingale and especially Molly, intriguing characters who got less of the limelight in this outing. It’s true that there are now many characters to try and fit in with each outing, and as such we have to perhaps be prepared for that to happen. Molly is an interesting character though, and hopefully we see and learn more about her in book seven.
In any event, this novel was a fun, adventurous, funny urban fantasy, and Aaronovitch has done a great job continuing to develop this world and create engaging stories.
Overall: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars