Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant book 5) by Ben Aaronvitch (book review).

July 29, 2015 | By | Reply More

PC Peter Grant, trainee wizard. Home-the Folly. Boss-the Nightingale. Mission-don’t make a fool of yourself or get killed. Now in ‘Foxglove Summer’, the fish is most definitely out of water. Although more of that later. Reports of missing children and Peter is packed up and sent to Hereford. The Sticks. This is a significant moment for PC Grant and for us, the readers, especially in this London-centric world and this London-centric author who has a lifetime live-in relationship with our capital.


As one of an ongoing series, we see Peter tested in ways not thought possible and the countryside is not the rural idyll. The plot is a difficult one. Child abduction is a tricky subject and this treads a thin lead of acceptability. ‘Foxglove Summer’ addresses the issues well within its genre of urban fantasy and Ben Aaronvitch also makes effective social commentary about the responses of the press, the police and the public to such stories.

One family lives on a council estate and the other family is ‘posh’ but nothing is that simple and, of course, this is a ‘Falcon’ case, code for those supernatural cases the regular police are happy to hand over. There has been supernatural intervention. In many ways, the reader can relax a bit about this and not go down the grim alleys of crime fiction.

We meet some new character such as Melissa, a queen of the country and most defiantly of her hive. Her father, Hugh Oswald, is a retired agent which gives Peter a new perspective on his boss and what has gone before.

Lesley, his erstwhile fellow apprentice, is still on the loose and features as the on-going plot arc from all the previous books. Beverly Brook also resurfaces as his on/off girlfriend and also full-time river goddess. Yes, it is safe to get back in the water, sort of. With new friend, Dominic, from the local nick we are getting the full deal of community policing . Light the blue touchpaper and retire…

I love this book and the character of Peter Grant. The stories never get too dark that we can’t see the light. His character is full of charm and the books are populated by a variety of intriguing characters that really fill out the background giving intriguing glimpses into their complicated lives. The rural background proves to be just as testing as Peter’s previous problems in London making us feel that country life can be just as complicated as the capital. The slight cliff-hanger ending gives us some more adventures to look forward to and, at if at some point these adventures do reach the small screen, let us hope they do the novels justice.

Sue Davies

July 2015

(pub: Gollancz. 384 page paperback. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-57513-252-8)

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Category: Books, Fantasy

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