In the fourth and final part of Rivers of London, the chase is on…
This review covers chapter 11 to the end of the book. Spoiler alert!
Sooooo, this post has taken much longer to write than I would have preferred. Don’t you just love those times when your own brain won’t let you get words out and onto a screen/page etc? Love those times. *Mops up sarcasm*
But here we are! It’s finally time to talk about the ending of Rivers of London, and what I remember at this stage is a remarkable case of hot pursuit, and a truly squirm-inducing brush with a horrible end for Lesley May.
I hope she sticks around in this books. Even as a secondary character I was drawn to her right away; I liked her snarky humour, and I was undeniably sympathetic to learn about how she’d been sucker-punched (heh) by our villain.
THAT SCENE IN THE OPERA HOUSE. I cannot get it out of my head. HER POOR FACE. Aaronovitch is clearly not a writer who’s inclined to hold back much when it comes to the horrifying elements of such a storyline, and as a result I was right there with Peter in his desperate efforts to stop Mr Punch and save Lesley before it was too late. Even right up to the very end, I couldn’t be sure he was going to succeed.
And can we just talk for a minute about HOW he catches Mr Punch? Travelling back in time and manipulating history all in the name of catching a supernatural bad guy might seem a bit overkill on paper, but in practice, here, it somehow works, providing a bit of impressive spectacle to all the nail-biting tension. It also opens up the potential of a wizard’s power to enough speculation that it’s bound to keep me hooked and reading to find out more for a while yet. If this is what Peter can do on a desperately driven spur of the moment, what might he be capable of with time and determination to study his craft and discover new tricks?
I also like that this finale gave him a chance to tie up the loose end of his promise to facilitate a peace treaty between Mama Thames and the Old Man of the River. Peter might have a long way to go but he really shows here that he’s coming to understand not only the scale and potential of what he can do, but the power that it can give him, and (I hope) how important it is to use that power wisely. He takes care of this loose end in the plot impressively well, and smoothly, though I was a little surprised at the result – namely, that Beverley agrees to be packed off to live with the Old Man’s people, away from her own river and her home. It’s done in the name of a trade, to make sure that the peace treaty will hold. Beverley and her cousin(?) are basically hostages to each other’s good behaviour, for however long such an arrangement is required to last.
Hopefully now this also means that Peter will have fewer opportunities to make my nose wrinkle with his shallow attitudes to women. Yes, this is all very impressive but I have not forgotten that our boy still has some growing up to do.
Oh, and Nightingale had better recover and rejoin the fray or I am going to be VERY UPSET. I love Nightingale, I won’t lie. I am very much here for more Nightingale.
That’s all I’ve got for this round, but tonight we are starting on the second PC Grant book, Moon Over Soho, so there will continue to be talking and writing and, I dearly hope, flailing and emotional spillage. See you next time…