Ben Aaronovich – Rivers of London Series

by | Nov 5, 2019 | Audiobook, Ben Aaronovitch, British Crime Fiction, Crime and thriller, Fantasy, Graphic novels | 0 comments

Written by Pandora

Pandora loves books. She enjoys reading, writing, and editing them. She started this blog to highlight some of her favourite books, and review some new and old books along the way. ❤️📘

Rivers of London Series

The Rivers of London is a series of books based on the life and career of one Peter Grant, a police constable who is thrown into the world of Newtonian magic. He becomes an apprentice to the magic practitioner, Nightingale, after being caught up in a magical case.

This is a great series for anyone who enjoys a good mystery, comic timing, magic, fantasy, sci-fi, police procedural novels, London and it’s history and architecture. It basically has all the bases covered, and if you listen to the unabridged audiobooks then you also get the brilliantly vast and extensive talents of Kobna Holbrook-Smith as he seamlessly rattles off the many and varied accents which Ben Aaronovitch has given his characters.

One of the things which makes this such a great series is the fact that the story is not limited to the main novels of the series. Ben has also worked with a talented team to produce comics, graphic novels, and audiobooks which support the main storyline by expanding out the worldview of the Rivers of London series, fleshing out the characters, introducing new characters and providing explanations for character traits and back history.

Ben Aaronovitch is a British screenwriter and novelist. He has written for such programs as Dr. Who, Casualty, Blakes 7.

Dr Who comic

Get it from Forbidden Planet 
or Amazon via the links below.

See below for information on each novel, graphic novel, comic and audiobook as well as information regarding who Ben Aaronovitch has worked on. I have also made a brief bio for some of the main re-occurring characters, this is not conclusive and should not give away any major spoilers for the series.

This page will be updated as my reviews of each book are published and as Ben Aaronovitch publishes more work. Watch this space!

The Rivers of London Series Book 1 – Rivers of London

Published: 10th January 2011

Set in: January to June 2012

Rivers of London Ben AaronovichMy name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluble, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Short Story – A Home Crowd Advantage

Published: In London Edition of Rivers of London and Official Website

Set in: Before 2012 Summer Olympics

The Rivers of London Series Book 2 – Moon Over Soho

Published: 21st April 2011

Set in: September to October 2012

Moon Over Soho I was my dad’s vinyl-wallah: I changed his records while he lounged around drinking tea, and that’s how I know my Argo from my Tempo. And it’s why, when Dr. Walid called me to the morgue to listen to a corpse, I recognised the tune it was playing. Something violently supernatural had happened to the victim, strong enough to leave its imprint like a wax cylinder recording. Cyrus Wilkinson, part-time jazz saxophonist, and full-time accountant had apparently dropped dead of a heart attack just after finishing a gig in a Soho jazz club. He wasn’t the first.

The Rivers of London Series Book 3 – Whispers Under Ground

Published: 21st June 2012

Set in: December 2012

Whispers Underground front coverPeter Grant is learning magic fast. And it’s just as well – he’s already had run-ins with the deadly supernatural children of the Thames and a terrifying killer in Soho. Progression in the Police Force is less easy. Especially when you work in a department of two. A department that doesn’t even officially exist. A department that if you did describe it to most people would get you laughed at. And then there’s his love life. The last person he fell for ended up seriously dead. It wasn’t his fault, but still.

Now, something horrible is happening in the labyrinth of tunnels that make up the tube system that honeycombs the ancient foundations of London. And delays on the Northern line is the very least of it. Time to call in the Met’s Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9, aka ‘The Folly’. Time to call in PC Peter Grant, Britain’s Last Wizard.

The Rivers of London Series Book 4 – Broken Homes

Published: 25th July 2013

Set in: March/April 2013

Broken Homes front coverA mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil – an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common garden serial killer?

Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case, a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.

So far so London.

But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.

Is there a connection?

And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?

Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch’s series has swiftly added Grant’s magical London to Rebus’ Edinburgh and Morse’s Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.

The Rivers of London Series Graphic Novel 1 – Body Work

Published: July to November 2015, Collected 1st November 2016

Set in: Unknown

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Artists: Lee Sullivan

Body Work front coverPeter Grant looks look your average London police officer, but he is actually a part-time wizard in a very elite branch of the Metropolitan Police. It’s his job to investigate those crimes that regular cops don’t like to talk about because they often involve vampires or strange things in Underground tunnels. Peter’s latest case features a self-driving killer automobile, a Serbian refugee, the Most Haunted Car in England, a handsome drug dealer with a nice paisley scarf and a seemingly harmless wooden bench with a dark past! Collecting the sell-out smash mini-series, Rivers of London: Body Work!

The Rivers of London Series Book 5 – Foxglove Summer

Published: 13th November 2014

Set in: August 2013

Foxglove Summer front coverIn the fifth of his bestselling series, Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

The Rivers of London Series Graphic Novel 2 – Night Witch

Published: Parts 1-3 – 16 March 2016 through 18 May 2016, collected 1 November 2016

Set in: August 2013

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Artists: Lee Sullivan


Night Witch front coverPress-ganged into helping a Russian oligarch hunt his missing daughter, PC Peter Grant and his boss, Thomas Nightingale, London’s only wizarding cops, find themselves caught up in a battle between Russian gunmen, a monstrous forest creature – and their nemesis: The Faceless Man. But as Grant and Nightingale close in on the missing girl, they discover that nothing about this case is what it seems! Signed copy available from Forbidden Planet

The Rivers of London Series Graphic Novel 3 – Black Mould

Published: Parts 1-5 – 12 October 2016 through 8 March 2017, collected 25 July 2017

Set in: August 2013

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Artists: Lee Sullivan

Black mould by Ben AaronovichCSI meets Harry Potter in this fantastic new graphic novel from Ben Aaronovitch, writer of the bestselling Rivers of London novel series! Something dark and slimy is dripping through the walls of suburban London. Not the usual stuff, this mould is possessed by some dark power full of bad intentions. Looks like it’s another case for London’s one and only trainee wizard cop, Police Constable Peter Grant, and his reluctant partner, Sahra Guleed!

Signed copy available from Forbidden Planet

The Rivers of London Series Novella 1 – The Furthest Station

Published: 28th September 2017

Set in: Late July 2013

Furthest Station by Ben AaronovitchThere’s something going bump on the Metropolitan line and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly who to call.

It’s PC Peter Grant’s speciality . . .

Only it’s more than going ‘bump’. Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter – making the follow-up interviews rather difficult.

So with a little help from Abigail and Toby the ghost hunting dog, Peter and Jaget are heading out on a ghost hunting expedition.

Because finding the ghost and deciphering their urgent message might just be a matter of life and death.

Audible Exclusive 1

The Rivers of London Series: A Rare Book Of Cunning Device

Published: Audible special edition

Set in: Undisclosed month in 2014

Read by: Kobna Holbrook-Smith

Audiobook A Rare Book of Cunning DevicesExclusive to Audio! Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss – and we’re not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn’t looking forward to finding out….

The Rivers of London Series Book 6 – The Hanging Tree

Published: 3 November 2016 in the UK,31 January 2017 in the US

Set in: Undisclosed month in 2014

The Hanging treeSuspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty’s daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour.

Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we’re talking about.

The Rivers of London Series Graphic Novel 4 – Detective Stories

Published: Parts 1-4 7 June 2017 through 3 September 2017, collected 29 December 2017

Set in: Undisclosed month in 2014

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Artists: Lee Sullivan

Detective Stories by Ben AaronovitchCSI meets Harry Potter in this fantastic new graphic novel from Ben Aaronovitch, writer of the bestselling Rivers of London supernatural police procedural crime novel series! An anthology series of stories featuring Police Constable Peter Grant, his partner, Sahra Guleed, and their associates, as they tackle supernatural crime on the streets of London! An all-new adventure for Ben Aaronvitch’s laconic, way-past-cool but slightly geeky trainee wizard and budding detective, Peter Grant! Tying directly into the Rivers of London continuity. Aaronovitch is joined by Doctor Who writer Andrew Cartmel for this gripping new series.

Signed copy available from Forbidden Planet

The Rivers of London Series Graphic Novel 5  – Cry Wolf

Published: 8 November 2017, collected 26 June 2018

Set in: Undisclosed month in 2014

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Artists: Lee Sullivan

Cry Wolf forbidden planet image


Vengeful Russian mobsters are looking to hire members of London’s own more-then-natural underworld to bring bloody retribution down on the witch Varvara.

However, the ex-Soviet sorcerer is under the protective wing of London’s own wizarding cop, Peter Grant (now a proper detective and everything), and to get the attention of Grant and his colleagues, the daughter of a prominent Russian oligarch is kidnapped by parties unknown but possibly fox-like.

What makes it worse is that Peter is going to have to leave his beloved London and gasp go out into the countryside! And when there’s trees and fields and wildlife involved, things never end well.

Signed copy available from Forbidden Planet


The Rivers of London Series Graphic Novel 6 – Water Weed

Published: Parts 1-4, June 2018 through September 2018, collected 18 December 2018

Set in: Undisclosed month in 2014

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Artists: Lee Sullivan

Water Weed by Ben AaronovitchWhen two of the less well-behaved River goddesses, Chelsea and Olympia, decide to earn a few quid on the side, Peter and Bev find themselves drawn into a sordid cannabis-smuggling operation, controlled by London’s new queenpin of crime – the brutal and beautiful Hoodette!

Signed copy available from Forbidden Planet


. .

The Rivers of London Series Book 7 – Lies Sleeping

Published: 18 November 2018 in the UK

Set in: After 14th November 2014

Lies Sleeping by Ben AaronovitchMartin Chorley, aka the Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run.

Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring Chorley to justice.

But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that Chorley, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long term plan.

The Rivers of London Series Graphic Novel 7 – Action At A Distance

Due for release 26th March 2019

Set: Outside of the main sequence

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Artists: Lee Sullivan

Action at a Distance by Ben AaronovitchOctober, 1957. A serial killer terrorising the women of Cumbria has moved to the streets of London, with Constable Angus Strallen hot on his heels.

But this murderer has special abilities, and Strallen soon realises he needs the help of an old friend from the front lines who can match this madman’s power, London’s own wizarding police officer, Thomas Nightingale. As the pair move in closer, it quickly becomes clear that murder is not this man’s only intent.

Tying directly into the continuity of the Rivers of London novels and revealing secrets about Nightingale’s past that readers have long-hoped to find out!

Pre-order from Forbidden Planet

Novella 2 – The October Man

Published: 13th June 2019

Set in: Germany – undisclosed time sometime after Lies Sleeping ends

Featuring: Tobias Winter and Vanessa Sommer

The October Man by Ben AaronovitchTrier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany’s oldest city. So when a man is found dead with, his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.

Fortunately, this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.

Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger, and paperwork. With the help of a frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he’s quick to link the first victim to a group of ordinary middle-aged men – and to realise they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great solving the case may mean unearthing the city’s secret magical history.

. . . so long as that history doesn’t kill them first.

The Rivers of London Series Book 8  – False Value

Published: November 2019 – release pushed back to 20th February 2020

Set in: After the events of Lies sleeping

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand new London start up – the Serious Cybernetics Company.

Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son.

Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological – and just as dangerous.



Review of False Value

If you don’t like Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, or if you have never read it – firstly, shame on you – but secondly, you will really struggle with the first three chapters of this Rivers of London book. False Value is a real tribute to pop culture and geek culture. Anyone who loves a visit to Forbidden Planet will love this book.

With a Hitch Hikers Guide reference on the first page of Chapter 1 and a Tolkien reference on page 4, chapter 3 provides our first Harry Potter reference but you have to wait until Chapter 8 for your first Terry Pratchett reference, but it is worth the wait, believe me.

This book is good as if there was any chance it wouldn’t be. It starts perhaps a little slower than some of the previous novels, but the foundations are laid for a classic Rivers Of London tale. The action gets going in chapter two and the use of multiple timelines is a great way of helping to move the action on whilst still doing the background work required to provide the basis for a solid story. 

All of your favourite characters get a mention and for anyone concerned that the lack of The Faceless Man would put a dampner on this book, do not fear, there are a couple of “bad guys” and practitioners who would certainly give him a run for his money,


List of books


Rivers of London

Moon over Soho

Whispers Under Ground

Broken Homes

Foxglove Summer

The Hanging Tree

The Furthest Station (novella)

Lies Sleeping

Graphic novels

Co-Author: Andrew Cartmel

Andrew Cartmel novel Available to buy at Forbidden Planet






Artists: Lee Sullivan

Lee Sullivan Dr WhoAvailable to buy at Forbidden Planet






Comic books

Taken from Wikipedia

  • Body Work #1 – 16 July 2015
  • Body Work #2 – 19 August 2015
  • Body Work #3 – 16 September 2015
  • Body Work #4 – 21 October 2015
  • Body Work #5 – 20 November 2015
  • Body Work (Collection/Graphic Novel) – 29 March 2016 ISBN 9781782761877
  • Night Witch #1 – 16 March 2016
  • Night Witch #2 – 13 April 2016
  • Night Witch #3 – 18 May 2016
  • Night Witch (Collection/Graphic Novel) – 1 November 2016 ISBN 9781785852930
  • Black Mould #1 – 12 October 2016
  • Black Mould #2 – 16 November 2016
  • Black Mould #3 – 21 December 2016
  • Black Mould #4 – 1 February 2017
  • Black Mould #5 – 8 March 2017
  • Black Mould (Collection/Graphic Novel) – 25 July 2017 ISBN 9781785855108
  • Detective Stories #1 – 7 June 2017
  • Detective Stories #2 – 12 July 2017
  • Detective Stories #3 – 9 August 2017
  • Detective Stories #4 – 13 September 2017
  • Detective Stories (Collection/Graphic Novel) – 29 December 2017 ISBN 9781785861710


All available on Audible

A Book of Rare and Cunning Device – Exclusive to audio

Read by: Kobna Holbrook-Smith

All Read by: Kobna Holbrook-Smith

Rivers of London

Unabridged version shortlisted for Crimefest Award 2012

Moon over Soho

Whispers Under Ground

Broken Homes

Foxglove Summer

The Hanging Tree

The Furthest Station(novella)

Lies Sleeping

Main Characters

Fan art by The Agarthian Guide

Image Copyright held by The Agarthian Guide

The Agarthan Guide artwork on Tumblr

Police Constable Peter Grant

Officer in the Metropolitan Police

Job: The first official apprentice wizard in sixty years.

Lives: at The Folly

Age: 25 at the start of series

First appears: The Rivers of London (is the main character in all books)

Traits: knows a lot of “useless” knowledge about architecture, extrovert, very easily distracted, can sense vestigia, makes rash decisions, huge fan of Dr. Who and Lord of the Rings

Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale

Job: Head of the Folly and the last officially sanctioned English Wizard

Lives: at the Folly

Age: Technically over 100, but looks early 40’s

First appears: The Rivers of London (is a main character in all books)

Traits: always well dressed in tailored suits, drives a vintage Jaguar, highly skilled practitioner, a survivor of Ettesberg

Lesley May

Job: Police Constable in the Metropolitan Police and de facto apprentice to Nightingale

Lives: Various

Age: 25 at the start of series

First appears: The Rivers of London (appears in all main novels in the series)

Traits: Incredibly good at her job, quick reflexes, expected to go far in the police, good looking, favourite of Seawold

Toby; Peter’s dog

Job: detects magic, indicated by barking

Lives: The Folly

Age: No one knows

First appears: Rivers of London

Traits: Loves Molly’s cooking, terrible guard dog, sniffs out magic, what more do you want?  He’s a dog

Detective Sergeant Miriam Stephanopoulos

Job: case officer of the Belgravia Murder Investigation Team

Lives: In the country

Age: Never ask a woman her age!

First appears: Rivers of London

Traits: scares everyone, huge fan of Terry Pratchett

Detective Chief Inspector Alexander Seawoll

Job: The SIO (Senior Investigation Officer) of the MIT (Murder Investigation Team)


Age: No one dares ask

First appears: Rivers of London

Traits: not a huge fan of Peter, doesn’t like all “this weird-bollocks”, a very large man, is protective over his favourites

Sahra Guleed

Job: Constable, often works with Peter when his cases are in London.

Lives: London

Age: Unknown

First appears: Moon Over Soho

Traits: has an endless supply of fashionable hijabs (one for every outfit and every occasion), the new favourite of Seawold

Dr Abdul Haqq Walid

Job: world-renowned gastroenterologist and cryptopathologist (deals with the weird shit that comes into the hospital/morgue)

Lives: London (is actually Scottish)

Age: Unknown

First appears: Rivers of London

Traits: super inquisitive, backs up Peter is his search for a scientific explanation for some of the “weird-shit”

Frank Caffrey

Job: London Fire Brigade Fire Investigator, ex-para, Unofficial enforcer and general all-round muscle for the Folly.

Lives: London??

First appears: Rivers of London

Traits: plain-speaking, doesn’t take any shit, not phased by all the weird-shit

Professor Harold Postmartin D.Phil. FRS BMon

Job: Archivist and expert for the Folly. Academic.


Lives: Oxford

First appears: Moon Over Soho

Traits: cares for and fights for the preservation of books and other antiquities beyond that of anything else


Job: The Folly’s domestic helper

Age: Unknown

Lives: The Folly

First appears: Rivers of London

Traits: of not entirely clarified species fae-like, can move around soundlessly, cooking (good or bad depends on her mood and which recipe book she is currently working on

Abigail Kamara

Job: School kid, later on, she becomes the de facto founding member of the Folly’s Youth Wing.

Age: 13 when we first meet her

Lives: at the same estate as Peter’s parents.

First appears: Moon Over Soho

Traits: smart, nosey, can apparently talk to animals, good with languages

Beverley Brook

Job: goddess of Beverley Brook 

Age: Undetermined, it is suggested mid-twenties

Lives: in early books with her mum, Mama Thames in ?, later on in her own flat near Beverley Brook

Traits: hot, great hair, goddess of a river, has power over water

Cecilia Tyburn Thames; aka Lady Ty

Job: goddess of the River Tyburn. Also sits on the board of several companies, charities and non-profits

Age: depends on her mood, mid-forties if we are talking natural

Lives: ??

Traits: daughter of Mama Thames, very posh, has a strong power over both water and people


Job: god of the River Oxley one of the “sons” of Father Thames and his chief negotiator.

Age: Unknown

Lives: On the River Oxley

Traits: likes to swim, takes a shine to Peter, married to Isis, loves the theatre and a good drink, good strong Irish accent

Varvara Sidorovna Tamonina (aka. Varenka Dobroslova)

Job: Russian/Soviet witch (Night Witch), magical WWII veteran (365th Special Regiment of the Red Army)

Age: Technically over 100, but looks early 40’s

Lives: London mainly, various locations unknown

Traits: Witch, Russian, age is not an issue, good fighter both physically and magically



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