Having found myself slightly addicted to the PC Peter Grant series, I moved straight onto book 3: Whispers Under Ground. Grant finds himself called to the scene of a murder at Baker Street Underground Station. The victim is the son of a US senator, stabbed to death with a strange piece of pottery that gives off the strong vestigia that tells PC Grant that something out of the ordinary is going on. Having established the link between something or someone magical, Grant is immediately seconded to the Murder Squad, working once more with DCI Seawoll who has never been his biggest fan and has only just returned to duty after the events of Rivers of London. There is also the complication of FBI agent Kimberley Reynolds who is supposed to be kept in the dark as far as magic is concerned, but who keeps mysteriously showing up wherever Grant – and therefore the magical world – is.
It isn’t that hard to find the bodies at a major crime, even one at a complicated scene like an Underground station – you just look for the highest concentration of noddy suits and head that way. When I stepped out onto platform 3 the far end looked like an anthrax outbreak. It had to be foul play then because you don’t get this much attention if you’re a suicide or one of the five to ten people that manage to accidentally kill themselves on the Underground each year.
Grant’s unofficial partner in his investigations is WPC Lesley May, still on leave but keen to get back in the game. The banter between these two was a highlight, May battling to keep Grant in line and stop him from making needlessly reckless risks. Watching Peter come to terms with her horrific facial injuries does add another dimension to his character. Often quite immature, watching him with May he does seem to be growing up at last.
Carrying through from the last book, the Folly are still on the trail of the rogue wizard, the Faceless Man, who tried to kill Grant in book two. With Nightingale having established a list of potential Little Crocodiles, members of an elite Oxford University dining club who may have been taught dark magic. In some ways I felt more invested in this plot strand, most likely because it is a continuation. It feels as though this will run for a few more books to come which I like.
Thoughts so far- this is building up to an epic encounter with the Faceless Man, though since Peter Grant is a slow learner, I hope this is a long way off for his sake. I like the development of the other recurring characters, Lesley May and DI Stephanopoulos in particular. I do like that Peter is quite inept, charming in its own way, but I would like him to wise up a little. Time will tell…