Title: The Hanging Tree | Series: Peter Grant #6 | Author: Ben Aaronovitch | Publisher: Gollancz | Publication date: November 3rd 2016| Num. Pages: 384 | Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
4 stars – A satisfying installment
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Hanging Tree was the Tyburn gallows which stood where Marble Arch stands today. Oxford Street was the last trip of the condemned. Some things don’t change. The place has a bloody and haunted legacy and now blood has returned to the empty Mayfair mansions of the world’s super-rich. And blood mixed with magic is a job for Peter Grant.
Peter Grant is back as are Nightingale et al. at the Folly and the various river gods, ghosts and spirits who attach themselves to England’s last wizard and the Met’s reluctant investigator of all things supernatural.
What can I say about The Hanging Tree that isn’t good? It was a satisfying installment to the series but there was still something missing for me. It had the usual characters and the usual awkwardness with Peter Grant and the Met and the demi-monde which as always was written to the same standard.
However, there were a few parts of this book that bugged me which I’ll go through shortly.
The Hanging Tree is the sixth installment of the bestselling Peter Grant/Rivers of London series and finally there is some proper river action. This book centers around Tyburn or Lady Ty as she is affectionately known. Lady Ty for those of you who don’t know is an overwhelming bitch with a major Goddess complex – with good reason really.
This book follows Peter as he helps to investigate the murder of a teenager – don’t let this fool you, the principal suspect in the murder is one of the family Rivers. This kicks off simultaneous police investigations and Folly blow-ups abound.
First, the things I liked:
- The reappearance of much loved characters such as Nightingale, Molly, Guleed, Stefanopaulos and even Seawoll.
- The introduction of new characters
- The familiar writing style
- The monologuing of Peter Grant
- The plot
- The return of some characters I won’t name and
- The revelations!!!
Now, I hate to do this really (and I despise using bullet points as a side note) but needs must.
Things I disliked:
- The overuse of the term white to describe characters that had no context and almost no bearing on the storyline whatsoever – I’m almost positive I counted at least 15 uses of the word “white” in the first 30% of the book, sometimes more than once a page. The worst use of this – for me – was “a scary white waitress”, I don’t know about you, but the need to describe a character based solely on their skin tone is a big no no for me. It lacked context and bearing on the part of the story at hand.
- The return of some characters I won’t name – what the actual fuck Ben? That’s wrong! They can’t be better than Peter!
Now despite my reservations and the things I disliked, I did enjoy this book. In the end. It took about 60% for this book to grab my attention with both hands which I suppose could be construed as a bad thing, however that first two thirds set up the ending in a great way. The culmination of multiple prolonged story arcs were a welcome wrap up to this instalment and I look forward to the next.