The Furthest Station (A PC Grant novella) by Ben Aaronovitch.

‘The Furthest Station’ is a welcome novella to bridge the gap in the ‘Rivers Of London’ series. Following an apprentice wizard, Peter Grant training in this story is self-contained with some reoccurring characters. As a short book, it might be a point to jump in. If you like the water, go back to the first book, ‘Rivers Of London’, and read the longer series of novels that have a more intense story arc running through them. There is almost no comparison to be made with ‘Harry Potter’ and Peter Grant brings a fresh modern touch to the ancient art of wizardry. He would like to confirm that he has long since stopped fritzing his mobile phones when he does magic.

The Folly investigate the paranormal events in modern London, known as Falcon incidents, usually referred by the Metropolitan Police. They also have a lot of contact with the Transport Police who operate on the railways and the underground. Following complaints of groping by unseen hands, Peter gets handed the case. The incidents on the Metropolitan Line are odd because, shortly after reporting ghostly encounters, the reportees deny all knowledge of the event. This must be a job for the Folly. Aided and hampered by his super-intelligent teenage cousin Abigail, Peter is conscious she wants to follow him into what she considers the new family business.

Peter Grant has an eclectic mix of acquaintances, ‘some of my best friends are geographical features’ and Beverly Brook features again as his aquatic river goddess girl-friend when the tributary sub-plot meanders around the main plot, both of which end very satisfactorily, one of them with a splash.

‘The Furthest Station’ apart from being a great and (please, please ) filmable story offers a very atmospheric visit to London. It’s a place of hidden history most of us fail to see the magic of when visiting for business reasons. This novel opens up the mythology and, alongside the comedy-drama, I got a strong desire to see all the locations. The sense of place along with the likeable and relatable cast of characters go a long way to imprinting these stories and I can’t wait to read the next.

Sue Davies

August 2017

(pub: Gollancz. 128 page small hardback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-473321-242-7)

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