Lis Carey Review: The Hanging Tree

Peter Grant is back in London, and instead of welcome peace and recovery from his encounter with the Faerie Queen, he’s got a phone call from Lady Tyburn, calling in a favor. Her daughter was at the scene of a death, apparently an accidental overdose, and Lady Ty tells Peter to keep her out of it. Getting involved in this case that didn’t look at all like Folly business leads to quite exciting, and, oops, dangerous encounters with both Lesley May, and the Faceless Man.

The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London #6), by Ben Aaronovitch. DAW, January 2017

Review by Lis Carey: Apprentice wizard PC Peter Grant gets a call on a case that at first doesn’t appear to be Folly business. A young woman has died of a probably accidental overdose, during a party at a very fancy address. No apparent magical involvement.

But Lady Tyburn’s daughter was also at this party, and she wants her daughter kept out of the case. Peter owes her a big favor, and Lady Ty is calling in the favor.

All is looking good for keeping the daughter out of the case, until she says, in the middle of an intentionally low-key interview, with Peter and others, that she supplied the drugs.

But it’s clear she didn’t intend any deaths. There’s also something very odd about the high-end flat where the party and the death occurred, starting with how they had access.

Dr. Walid’s examination of the body, in particular the brain, suggests what sort of “something odd” they should be looking for.

Peter, with DC Sahra Guleed, of the Major Investigations Team, investigate the dead girl, her friends, and the families. What they find isn’t just concerning. Highlights, if that’s the right word, include an underground pool collapsing on Peter and one of the dead girl’s friends, a very destructive confrontation with Lesley May at Harrods, and another showdown with the Faceless Man. Festivities are further enlivened by teams (yes, more than one) of US intelligence contractors attempting to get hold of very valuable magical, or magic-related, artifacts that the Folly sees itself as the rightful owners of.

And right through the book, Beverly Brook is present, and Peter and Beverly’s relationship is progressing. Peter’s mother likes her, a fact which Peter finds terrifying.

It’s a lot of fun, along with being terrifying and exciting.

I received this book as a gift.

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10 thoughts on “Lis Carey Review: The Hanging Tree

  1. “Rivers of London” sets up a huge amount of background for the series, you definitely need to start with it and not try to skip further in to the series. For some reason Rivers was renamed “Midnight Riot” in some territories.

  2. Oh, and the US is one of those territories where Rivers of London has been retitled Midnight Riot, for obscure reasons.

  3. And here’s the story according to the author:

    I hate writing introductions. If I was any good at non-fiction my blog posts would be much more interesting and probably much much longer. Still when you’re a professional writer some things have to be done, many of them literally written into your contract, of which writing the occasional introduction is not the most onerous. Checking your text for the umpteenth time for mistakes, plot holes and typos is worse–and takes more time. Which segues us nicely into this edition of Rivers of London. Since this is the North American eBook version you may well know this book under its American title Midnight Riot.

    The original publisher changed the title partly because they believed, erroneously, that their audience is particularly parochial but mostly I believe from that understandable but annoying impulse to stamp their own personality on everything they produce. This has caused loads of confusion and mislabelling and some poor sods buying the book twice by mistake. I’ve done this myself so I can appreciate the annoyance. So once more for clarity–this book you are holding in your virtual hands is Rivers of London, the book formerly known as Midnight Riot–the first of the Rivers of London series written by yours truly.

  4. John A Arkansawyer says Ha! Midnight Riot my library has. And it’s checked out…but I’m next.

    You won’t regret reading the series. It’s an interesting one with a lot of character development and multiple stories. It even has foxes who speak. Really it does.

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