Rivers Of London – Chapter 5: Designated Driver by writers Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel with art by Lee Sullivan, Louis Gurrero and Janice Chiang (magazine review).

Curiously this is a review of Chapter 5 of ‘Rivers Of London’ in a continuing story within a series of comics based on a series of novels. You get it there’s a series of a series. Right. Slightly disadvantaged by not having read the previous comics, I have read the novels so I’m offering a limited opinion on these stories set between book 4 and 5. Might I say upfront that I’m a massive fan of the books and devour them as soon as available. The review copy is an ebook and it looks like these are mainly sold as this for our immediate consumption.


This trend for ebooks even of comics is a bit sad really but we soldier on. Consider much like a freshly published book there is a tactile feel to a comic that the ebook can never match. However, I’m all for tree saving. It should be pointed out that this ebook is not suitable to read on a black and white kindle.

The final part of this 5 five-part story sees the gradual realisation of the connections between the killer cars and an antique ducking stool. Of course, we are really seeking additional information about Peter Grant and his friend the river goddess, Beverley, which will further enhance our enjoyment of the novels. This is the 4D experience in a new way which we might feel gives us privileged information as these are much like the minisodes made popular in shows like ‘Doctor Who’. Consider that we wait for months and sometimes years for a new novel but this gives us something on a monthly basis that keeps the novels in mind and, oh, the temptation to one-click for the next instalment.

That’s where the excitement ends for me. I did not get involved with this alas as I found the characters weren’t those in my head from the novel. I would say I fall into the non-illustrated camp with characters. I make an exception for those created as drawn characters or film/TV representations. I do like the idea that these comics will introduce the characters and maybe get some new readers who can dip their toe into this world and see if it suits. I expect writers like Dickens would have liked the idea, too, and maybe Shakespeare would approve of his own graphic novels in Waterstone’s but, worthy as it is, I didn’t get hooked by this particular story so for now I will stick to the novels

Sue Davies

January 2016

(pub: Titan Comics, 2015. 23 page comic. Price: £ 1.49 (UK). ASIN: B018650M4Y)

check out website: www.titanbooks.com

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