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The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree

by Ben Aaronovitch

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Peter Grant (6), Rivers of London (6)

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4942020,689 (4.07)78



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I didn't find this volume of the Peter Grant/Rivers of London series quite up to the standard of the previous ones. It felt a little too much like Aaronovitch was marking time. Nevertheless it's still very witty and lots of fun to read.

Peter is back in London after his outing to Herefordshire in the last book. His relationship with Beverley Brook seems quite serious. He gets a phone call one morning from Bev's sister, Lady Ty, asking him to check on a suspicious death case that may implicate her daughter Olivia. Seems Olivia and her mates were partying in an apartment in the very expensive One Hyde Park complex the night before. Someone had procured some designer drugs and one of Olivia's school chums had died after consuming them. The pathologist finds that the deceased had damage to her brain that was consistent with practising magic and this damage was what caused the death. So this makes it a case for Peter and his boss, Nightingale, and they start digging into the habits of the party-goers and their families. One thing they need to establish is who procured the drugs. After very little questioning Olivia confesses that she bought them. Peter and Nightingale are also trying to acquire an old document that may show where Sir Isaac Newton's third book can be located. Turns out others including Peter's old partner, Leslie, and her boss, The Faceless Man, are also after this. Various explosions, floods, gruesome killings ensue with Peter at the heart of everything. It's a wonder he survives. It's also a wonder he doesn't weigh 300 pounds with all the snacks, crisps, pints, bacon sarnies etc. he puts away in the course of his duties. ( )
  gypsysmom | Oct 1, 2017 |
Lady Tyburn's daughter Olivia is present at a party when her friend Christina Chorley dies after taking contaminated drugs. Lady Tyburn wants to call in a favour from Peter Grant to keep her daughter in the clear.

I enjoy the books in the series but they do not stand alone. Unless you have a better memory than I do of what happened in earlier installments, which I read two or three years ago, there will be many head-scratching moments. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Sep 30, 2017 |
In this most recent of the Rivers of London series, Constable Peter Grant is back in London, but still in a territory he’s unfamiliar with. This time it’s the realm of the very rich.

A rich girl ends up dead of an overdose at a party- in a place where they shouldn’t have been partying. Lady Tyburn calls Peter with a request (that’s putting it gently): her daughter was at the scene of the crime, and she wants her name kept out of it. Not just proven innocent of the drug thing, but completely not there.

Of course it turns out that there is a supernatural element to the situation, so Peter is on the case legitimately. The long story arc that started six books ago is advanced here: the Faceless Man is involved. And that means Lesley makes an appearance. Peter spends time having a fire fight in Harrods, having a super expensive flat blow up, building new tech things to use around magic, and narrating the story as the world’s best educated and most snarky POV ever.

Of course it’s a five star book. I hope this series goes on forever. It’s funny, it’s supernatural, and it’s the most diverse urban fantasy I’ve read. For that matter, it’s probably the most diverse stuff I’ve read, period. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Sep 18, 2017 |
Enjoyed this sixth book more than most for the frission among the expanding secondary groups & the Folly esp from Peter's snarky POV ( )
  SESchend | Sep 6, 2017 |
I did not enjoy the last book in this series very much. I really enjoyed this one, although it seems there might be a graphic novel or something I missed. ( )
  adamwolf | Aug 29, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Aaronovitchprimary authorall editionscalculated
Holdbrook-Smith, KobnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knowles, PatrickCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Through the streets our wheels slowly move;

The toll of the death bell dismays us.

With nosegays and gloves we are deck’d,

So trim and so gay they array us.

The passage all crowded we see

With maidens that move us with pity;

Our air all, admiring agree

Such lads are not left in the city.

Oh! Then to the tree I must go;

The judge he has ordered the sentence.

And then comes a gownsman you know,

And tells a dull tale of repentance.

By the gullet we’re ty’d very tight;

We beg all spectators, pray for us.

Our peepers are hid from the light,

The tumbril shoves off, and we morrice.
Tyburn ballad as transcribed by Francis Place
This book is dedicated to all librarians everywhere – for they are the true keepers of the secret flame and not to be trifled with.
First words
I dreamt that I heard Mr Punch laughing gleefully by my ear, but when I woke I realised it was my phone.
And I thought I heard laughter echoing out of the city, but it might have just been the traffic.
Hyde Park Corner is what happens when a bunch of urban planners take one look at the grinding circle of gridlock that surrounds the Arc de Triumphe in Paris and think - that’s what we want for our town.
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