Moon over Soho is the second book in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch.
PC Peter Grant is back and as doggedly as ever. A jazz musician dies of ‘natural causes’, but the magical signature the body gives off, tells him and doctor Wallid there’s something strange afoot. A journalist is horribly murdered by having his penis bitten off. Two separate cases that Grant has to solve, while his mentor Nightingale and his friend Lesley are still recovering from their ordeals connected to his previous cases, his father is getting back into the jazz scene, and a voluptuous woman enters his life.
What I like about these Peter Grant books is that Peter Grant is just so matter-of-factly. He tells you how it is, when it comes to the streets where he grew up, the police force, his magical studies and how he views the world and life. He’s just a regular copper, who happens to be able to sense magic and is now put on magical cases with his boss, feeling way out of his depth, but focuses on the case no matter what, because he’s a cop. Because in the end he wants to genuinely help people.
His living situation will never be not funny, because Nightingale is a wizard from somewhere around 1900 and isn’t acquainted with most technological advances like mp3-players or a Playstation. Add Molly, who is something not human, quiet as a mouse but has a lot more teeth than she should, and a dog that happens to be able to sense magic, but smells horribly and always needs to be walked, and that’s a hoot and a half right there.
I also liked that this book basically starts where the last one left off: Nightingale is still recovering from his gunshot wound and being fussed over by Molly, Lesley is getting surgeries so she can talk again, but her face is still horribly disfigured and Peter feels bad about it, even though it wasn’t his fault. Peter’s trying to keep them from meddling too much in his cases, because they could overexert themselves and make things worse, but Lesley’s going crazy not being able to get back to her job and Nightingale can’t really relax because Peter’s still a novice.
In Moon over Soho we get more of a glimpse into Peter’s parents than we did in the first book. We get to see Peter spend more time with his dad, and learn more about what kind of man his father is, because in the first book I could definitely sense that he loved his dad, but there were negative connotations as well. So that was a plus too.
The cases were interesting on their own, but when they started to intersect, which of course they do, they became even more interesting and also very tragic. I sped through this book as if I was being chased by a train!