Aaronovitch, Ben: Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London II) (2011)

Moon Over Soho cover

I really like Aaronovitch’s writing. He keeps on taking the piss throughout the whole book, leaving me delighted with his sense of humor. Other readers seemed to agree with me as I found a gazillion reviews of Moon Over Soho. I have only a few of them below and tried to use reviewers that I have never previously come across.

Although each book in the Rivers of London series is a stand-alone, it only makes sense to read the first one before getting into this one. Or maybe not. They are stand-alone after all.

Moon Over Soho is a much darker novel than Rivers of London. One of the crime scenes is kind of disturbing in a fascinating manner and the ending is not Disney-happy-ever-after.

As with Rivers of London, Ben Aaranovitch connects a lot of people with actual places in London. The demi-goddesses/gods each control their own rivers with Mama Thames and Father Thames as the head honchos. One might even think of them as some sort of mafia bosses when one considers how they wield their power. Some of the smaller rivers/brooks have gone underground as London has continually been built over.

Then there are the jazz clubs. Perhaps one should bring Moon Over Soho as a guide to which clubs to visit while in London. Inasmuch as I listen to music, jazz is one of the styles I enjoy. Being a jazz musician, though, is an incredibly dangerous occupation lately in the world of Peter Grant. You might not have heard about jazz vampires before but now you have. I have no idea how many types of vampires are out there. A jazz vampire must surely be one of the more unusual ones. Instead of sucking the life out of people by drinking their blood, jazz vampires seem to drink talent or creativity from the musicians.

I like Peter. He comes from a rough background with an alcoholic/drug-addict dad who used to be an incredibly talented jazz musician. His mom is a frightening woman. Frightening and fun. She is the kind of matriarch that all the relatives listen to and who knows half of London (it seems). Listening to her talk to Peter is hilarious. Poor kid – which is exactly what he turns into when he visits his mom and dad.

DCI Nightingale is laid up at The Folly. He overtaxed himself in Rivers of London and needs to be taken care of by Molly. I realize I am not the only one, but burning is what my curiosity is when it comes to what Molly is. DCI Nightingale’s recovery period is spent trying to knock some magic into Peter. Peter is a natural when it comes to “smelling” vestigia (magic residue). Other than that he is going to have to plod the learning trail to magic. Like many beginners Peter wants to experiment, but as we saw in Rivers of London, magic is insanely dangerous. One might even wonder why any one would want to practice it.

For the Latin lovers out there you will already know what vagina dentata is. “Vagina dentata (Latin for toothed vagina) describes a folk tale in which a woman’s vagina is said to contain teeth, with the associated implication that sexual intercourse might result in injury or castration for the man.” I feel confident some of you blokes out there shuddered as you read this.

Guess what! Yes, you guessed it. A journalist is found with his nether parts bitten off by what appears to be vagina dentata. And where was he found? Well, in the downstairs toilet of the Groucho Club in London’s Soho district. Due to the nature of the journalist’s murder Peter is called in. All of this in addition to having to learn magic and keep the recovering Lesley and Nightingale from going insane is almost too much for one man to handle. Add to that the bureaucracy within the police and a love affair with beautiful Simone Wilberforce. I think I need to rest.

It was fun joining Ben Aaronovitch in his jaunt to the London of Peter Grant. Lots of action and action and action and I am happy. Mysteries are super-fun and fantasy made it all even better.




  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (13 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575097620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575097629



My review of Rivers of London

3 thoughts on “Aaronovitch, Ben: Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London II) (2011)”

  1. As a native Dutch person yet only reading books in English became addicted, many years ago, to the Discworld novels by Sir Terry Pratchett. You can read any of these novels over and over again, as I did, but always trying to find a new fresh equivalent to Sir Terry epic series of books. To me a good story needs to have a bit of thriller a bit fun and a bit sarcasm carefully mixed to take it to heart. And thankfully I found it within the writings of Ben Aaronovitch. The funny insights and down to earthness of Peter, our ‘hero’, who stumbled upon the supernatural, is something I have waited for. Suspense seasoned with a bit spite. Peter, the guy that will charge into the scariest unchartered places brumming with magic residu. Yet a man sensible enough but to put on his stabvest beforehand while not forgetting to text his whereabouts ‘incase your mates need to come to the rescue they to know where to start looking’. I like the the little nerd facts Ben Aaronovitch is using throughout his books and all the characters seem firmly slotted into their rightfull place. I can recommend my new found series to anyone. It’s slowly starting to replace my Discworld readings and I’m only hoping Mr Ben Aaronovitch will continue writing new novels about the adventures of Peter Grant.


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