TBR Pile Review: Lies Sleeping, by Ben Aaronovitch

Paperback, 406 pages
Published May 16th 2019 by Gollancz (first published November 13th 2018)

The Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud, and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run.Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring Chorley to justice.

But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that Chorley, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long term plan. A plan that has its roots in London’s two thousand bloody years of history, and could literally bring the city to its knees.

To save his beloved city Peter’s going to need help from his former best friend and colleague–Lesley May–who brutally betrayed him and everything he thought she believed in. And, far worse, he might even have to come to terms with the malevolent supernatural killer and agent of chaos known as Mr Punch. 

My Review

I thought I’d read this one, but after finishing the audiobook of False Value I was checking the TBR pile and found it, so clearly I hadn’t. It wasn’t in my Audible library either (it is now) so I hadn’t listened to it instead. Why am I getting Lies Sleeping and False Value read, I hear you cry? Well, the latest Peter Grant novel, Amongst Our Weapons is published this month. It arrived in my Audible library today and I’m waiting for my special edition from Goldsboro Books to be delivered. It isn’t available until 14th April, but I’ll probably have listened to the audiobook by then. It’ll be nice and pristine on my bookshelf.

So what happens in Lies Sleeping? Peter et al. are hunting the Faceless Man. Still. He, Martin Chorley, has a cunning plan to ‘make it all better’, by killing Punch, the spirit of riot we first meet in Rivers of London. There’s an ancient sword, goat sacrifices and attacks on archaeological sites. To find out what all the fuss is about, Peter has to meet old gods, some dead Romans and try not to die, too much.

And Beverley is pregnant.

I enjoyed this book. I always enjoy the Peter Grant books; there are a lot of geeky in-jokes and references to Discworld, why wouldn’t I enjoy them? There are cynical comments about policing in London and the state of the country. I like Peter and the gang, and find the plots gripping.

I’ve been struggling a bit with my mental health because of that heritage project I wrote about a few weeks back, all the horror is taking a toll on my brain, so I’ve been resting, and today, after three quite busy days all I’ve had the energy to do is curl up on the chair with this book and get lost in Peter’s adventures. I find the predictable characters (predictable because I’m familiar with the characters and worldbuilding, not because they’re badly written) soothing. Like Discworld, Peter Grant’s version of London, built by Ben Aaronovitch on the real thing but with a fantasy twist, is a safe retreat. I know there will be explosions, Peter will get into trouble, Molly will feed everyone, Beverley and her sisters will do something entertaining, some major disaster will happen, or be averted by the skin of someone’s teeth, there will be satirical comments about policing and the Government, and references that only fantasy geeks will get. It’s easy to read, get lost for 400 pages and then come back with a more relaxed frame of mind.

I like this book, but you probably should read the other 6 first, or nothing will make sense.

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