Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3) by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground
DelRey/July 31st, 2012
Urban Fantasy

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.

Peter Grant and Lesley May go to the home of 13 year old relative, Abigail, who claims to have a ghost that she’d like Peter to look at. The problem is, this ghost is underground, on the tracks, and technically, Peter and Lesley should be calling the British Transport Police and have them send a safety qualified search team. Ghosts are interesting, and all well and good, but unfortunately, there are darker things at work. Peter is called to a murder scene the next day in the Underground, where a man was apparently stabbed with a shard of pottery. Turns out he’s also an American. Peter and Leslie soon learn that the victim’s father is a senator, marking this case top priority. When Peter detects vestigium (a sense of magic, like smells, or sometimes music) on a bowl belonging to the victim, it’s time to follow the magical clues, hopefully directly to the killer.

If you’ve kept up with this superb series, you already know what a rich environment the author has created in which to set Peter’s rather odd cases against, and Whispers Under Ground is no exception. Ben Aaronovitch’s London is chock full of the magical and the mystical, in many different forms, and there’s no shortage of ghosts or the occasional river god or goddess, of whom Peter has more than a casual acquaintance with. Whispers Under Ground has the feel of a more traditional procedural than the other books…until Peter, Nightingale, and Lesley head into the London Underground. This is most definitely not your average murder, but if anyone can solve it, Peter can. I adore Peter Grant. There’s nothing stuffy, uptight, or staid about him, rather, he’s the kind of guy you’d want to hang out with on a Saturday night, with a pint in your hand and some jazz in the background. His dry snark is never forced and always funny, and we also learn a couple of new things about our hero. Three books in, and for me, this series is still going strong. Ben Aaronovitch is my go to guy to get my fix of British procedural with a general helping of the supernatural. This is a fascinating and unique series, and not to be missed by mystery and urban fantasy fans!

Purchase Whispers Under Ground: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound


  1. I loved the first two books, looking forward to this one. Just got notified that my copy is on its way, so hopefully it’ll arrive by the end of the week.

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Whispers Under Ground « The Indiscriminate Critic

  3. Pingback: Book Review: Whispers Under Ground | The Indiscriminate Critic

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