Title: What Abigail did that Summer
Author: Ben Aaronovich
Series: Rivers of London 5.3
Ghost hunter, fox whisperer, troublemaker.
It is the summer of 2013 and Abigail Kamara has been left to her own devices. This might, by those who know her, be considered a mistake. While her cousin, police constable and apprentice wizard Peter Grant, is off in the sticks chasing unicorns Abigail is chasing her own mystery. Teenagers around Hampstead Heath have been going missing but before the police can get fully engaged the teens return home – unharmed but vague about where they’ve been.
Aided only by her new friend Simon, her knowledge that magic is real and a posse of talking foxes that think they’re spies, Abigail must venture into the wilds of Hampstead to discover who is luring the teenagers and more importantly – why?
It is no secret that River’s of London is my favourite series. I am even doing a full re-read blog project called Friday at the Folly (The 2nd book is up this Friday!). So when the 3rd Novella landed on my doorstep this weekend I had to dive straight in. This story takes place concurrently with the events of Book 5, Foxglove Summer, and focuses of Abigail. Abigail is the Folly’s teenage trainee who outfoxed (pun very much intended) Peter to work her way into the ranks of the Folly as a ghost hunter and fox whisperer, only problem is she has to pass her Latin GCSE first!
I adored this book. These side stories are just as detailed and jam-packed with story as the novels. They add so much to the world building, creating an even more epic magical world that is beyond just Peter and his investigations. It was nice to get things from Abigail’s perspective. She is such a driven character. She is cunning and intelligent, compassionate and caring, much like her fox companions.
We got to see a lot more of the talking foxes! We have had glimpses before in some of the books and in the graphic novel Cry Fox, but this gave us real insight into how they operate and even some of there folklore. I found this fun, and inventive and cute. Abigail’s investigation was creepy, and interesting with such an unusual villain and an utterly unique solution! And Oh that ending! It hinted at so much mischief for our favourite Wunderkind. I cant wait to see where that goes.
It highlights how cruel Aaronovich is with is teasing and forshadowing. There are occasional footnote from Postmartin, explaining some of the teenage and London centric slang to Agent Reynold’s. They are also extremely useful for those of us that haven’t been a teenager in a long time. What I love about these is they set up so much, they suggest that every novel so far are Folly reports written by Peter and others that are being read by Postmartin before filing. Which really explains the narrative style of these books I love so much. But it also suggests that Agent Reynold’s regularly reads the Folly reports? Set up for her return maybe?
Overall, this contained all the fun fast paced action, you expect from the River of London books. Tonnes of magical hijinks in the ever expanding magical world of Peter Grant’s London, historical and factual insight that makes London itself shine and so much heart! I will now patiently wait for the next instalment…