Book Review: False Value (Rivers of London #8), by Ben Aaronovitch

I’ve been following Peter Grant’s adventures, so was happy to delve in to this new instalment.

What to expect

This novel is the first after the closure of the previous arc in Lies Sleeping. None of the old enemies appear (though don’t worry, the good side-characters are still there), and instead more of the world and background of magic is explored.

Without going into spoilers, DC Grant’s current case involves some magical technology — old ways and new ways of working magic. The story jumps back and forth in time, as the Aaronovitch masterfully reveals both current events and those the preceded them. Once the premise has been settled, the rest of the novel zips along to the twist conclusion.

In short, this is everything you’d expect from a Rivers of London novel, now that we have moved past the faceless man to new territory.

What I liked

I generally like Aaronovitch’s writing style, the systematic approach to both magic and police procedures. He has an outstanding voice in the world of paranormal investigators, striking a balance between the mysterious and the realistic.

I also like Aaronovitch treatment of people as people, all inclusive without being in-your-face. The characters are all realistic humans, which is what’s important.

What to be aware of

Plenty of the world building has been done in the preceding novels. It’s a reasonable point to jump into the series if you don’t mind the deep end, but purists might want to read from the start.


Highly recommended for fans of the series (duh). If you haven’t read any of the novels before, you can start here – just expect a bit of raised eyebrows at some aspects of Grant’s life.

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