This fast-paced debut has elements of urban fantasy overlaid on the more pedestrian police procedural. Peter is a likable protagonist and a somewhat unreliable narrator, and his slow, magical progress is a refreshing change from the usual mastery seen in books like this. It’s a tremendously fun read, in part due to its undeniably British flavor and also thanks to the unique narrative voice.

Police constable Peter Grant is at the end of his probationary period when his career takes a sudden and unexpected turn: he’s apprenticed to Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last wizard in Britain and the head of a secret division of the Met, which specializes in crimes of a magical nature. As a wave of brutal and uncanny murders overtake London, Peter investigates the case in the oddest places and with the oddest people — including the physical manifestations of the river spirits of London. (DEL REY, Feb., 310 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs