This is the fourth in the Rivers of London/Peter Grant/The Folly series. Now you may remember that I really enjoyed the first book and, in fact, suggested that it might make a good episodic television show. Nothing in the second, third, or fourth books has changed my mind about that. If anything, my feeling that this would be a good television series has been reinforced, both by reading this series and by reading the Simon Serrailler series by Susan Hill.
Each of Aaronovitch’s books is an episode, with an individual plot that is resolved by the end of that book, but which also gives more hints and progression about the overarching story. Broken Homes focuses on a council estate/apartment block which has been specifically designed to accentuate magic. We’ve got some new characters, and new focuses. There’s the now-deceased architect who was a secret practitioner and the dryad who inhabits the council estate’s garden (although it’s spring, so she’s a bit….distracted), for example. Characters from previous books are here as well – the Rivers, and Lesley, and of course Nightingale; there are hints throughout that lead up to the Faceless Man (although the ending comes as a surprise even so), leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that not only lead Peter and Lesley through to the revelations about the council estate, but also lead to the latest piece in the Faceless Man mystery.
I don’t know if Ben Aaronovitch has a set number of books that he’s intending to write in this series; I can easily see the first six or so being the battle against the Faceless Man (I haven’t read Foxglove Summer yet, but I can’t picture it being the last one – it doesn’t feel quite ramped up enough yet – but then I could be entirely wrong about that) and then moving on to another arc and another backstory. I sincerely hope he does – I’ve gotten to really care about Peter and Lesley and Nightingale and Molly, and I want to see what further quirks this magical sub-culture throws up toward urban London life.