In the third part of Foxglove Summer, the plot just keeps getting thicker. WHERE TO EVEN START WITH ALL THIS.
OK, I’m going to break this down a bit and talk about the women in Peter’s life before I get to the main plot in this book, because when I say “the plot thickens” I mean ALL THE PLOTS. SO THICK.
We’re three quarters of the way through this book and Beverley is as much of a mystery to me as she was when it started. If anything, I have more questions about her. Far from giving us a heap of answers to those questions, though, it looks like Aaronovitch is bringing her into play as Someone Important in ways other than just having Peter hook up with her – though that also happens, and does make me happy!
Take the thing with the river. All of Peter’s eye-roll worthy ‘deductions’ aside (the sex was a side benefit, Peter, let it go), I was really taken with this idea of Beverley helping to bring out whatever spirit might claim that empty river. I love the idea of ‘magical’ life force begetting a life force, though given that we know Beverley’s way isn’t the only way – remember how Mama Thames became Mama Thames? – it’s got me wondering how many river gods and goddesses got there by perhaps bloodier means. Consider the glimpses of history Peter’s gotten concerning the Old Man of the River. And I’m inclined to think that it makes sense for some in particular *cough* Tyburn *cough*.
But all of that is, however interesting, still only B-plot conjecture at this point. I want to know what impact Beverley will have on the A-plot here, though admittedly I’m still in the dark about how it might possibly play out at this point. That would be more frustrating if I wasn’t used to it with this series by now, though, so whatever’s coming in the final chapters – bring it on. Just remember to bring Ms Brook along, please? Ta.
The text-based mystery deepens, and while we still have no sightings of the absent Lesley, it looks like the theory that she’s finding herself in over her head might be the prevailing one. If she has, and she’s trying to reach out to Peter, then I’ll admit my heart twisted a little when he chose to tell her she only had herself to blame. It might be true, but the matter-of-factness of it is what hits me in the feels here. I get that Peter had his meltdown moment and he’s got to keep his head in the present game and proceed with caution and all that, but they were friends! Is this really how it’s going to go?
LESLEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
OK, I’ll own it. This storyline has me hooked now. Well and truly. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
OMG IS THERE A CHANGELING PLOT AFOOT?! Because I am all kinds of here for a changeling plot if it’s going to be as non-sparkly and ‘real’ as Aaronovitch’s take on unicorns might indicate it will be. Like unicorns, the fae are not here to delight you with giggles and sparkles and jaunty adventures. They will take your children and send murderbeasts after you and don’t even get me started on trying to take them on on their own turf because HELL NO.
Look, it’s right there in the folklore. READ THE FOLKLORE, PEOPLE.
But I’m digressing a bit here. Nicole may not be the real Nicole. But are we in fact dealing with an impostor-Nicole, or is this a case of post-traumatic stress being mistaken for something more? Because … well. Folklore. This is basically how we get changeling stories, right? It was easier to believe that the fae had stolen your child than that your child was doing what children do and growing up, learning about personalities and trying some on to see what fits, regardless of how bewildering and stressful this might be to their poor parents. But the notion that Nicole’s parents might fall into that trap is dubious at best. Which is, I suppose, why the claim is coming from Hannah.
I’m inclined to think that the changeling thing is the real deal, here – but it’s the signs pointing to alien abduction that are starting to boggle me. Is this just a case of people encountering the fae and leaping to a more ‘logical’ conclusion about what they are? Or is all of this leading somewhere I won’t expect, on the strength of that assumption? My gut reaction is to scoff at the idea that aliens did it, but then I’m sitting here going “Nah, the fae did it” so really, what do I know?
But then what can Peter do, short of going haring off after the real Nicole and getting himself into that HELL NO situation I mentioned? It doesn’t seem likely that he will do this, given the whole police procedural aspect of the narrative here. There are too many questions, and only so many pages left. So, once again, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!
And for that matter, where exactly, in all of this wildly theoretical mayhem, do the damn bees fit in? WHAT ABOUT THE BEES.
I really am glad that I’ve gotten past the point where having to ask that question was a nuisance rather than something I found properly intriguing, and that made me do the flailing arms thing. Oh, how the arms are flailing!
So. Many. Questions.