A Letter from Ben Aaronovitch

Posted on 5th November 2016 by Sally Campbell
Few fantasy series of recent times have had the impact of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London; its deviously brilliant fusion of old wizards, ghouls and a certain special division of the London Metropolitan Police quickly found an appreciative audience hungry for his take on a rather extraordinary London. It’s also a source of real Waterstonic pride too to say that our lovely shop in Covent Garden (of course!) once benefited from Ben’s bookselling presence, so we always consider Ben as one of our own.

With the sixth in the seriesThe Hanging Tree published today, Ben was kind enough to pen a letter for readers, both for those already in love with the series and the rest who are about to be.

Photo: Ben Aaronovich (c) Sabrina Aaronovich

Dear Reader,

            Some of you have been waiting slightly longer for this book than planned, some of you have only just discovered the world of PC Grant and the rest of you have no idea who the hell I am whatsoever.

To those of you who have been tapping your feet and drumming your fingers, I apologise – sometimes a book comes easy, sometimes it’s a bracing challenge and sometimes it’s like trying to drag Toby to the vet – it has to be done but boy does it take some doing.

To those of you who have just entered the world of PC Grant – welcome! Some have described it as an innovative genre busting combination of police procedural and urban fantasy I just had a hot idea and got it down on paper before it vanished into the abyss of lost stories. I’m still doing that six books later - let’s hope it never stops.

For those of you who have no idea who I am – Hi my name is Ben Aaronovitch, former Doctor Who scriptwriter, before it was fashionable, former Waterstones bookseller, inveterate and unapologetic Londoner and, much to my surprise, bestselling author.

I write a series of books following the adventures of PC Peter Grant who while minding his own business and guarding a crime scene found himself trying to take a witness statement from a ghost. In short order he gets himself apprenticed to the last officially sanctioned, wizard in Britain – Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale – and together they fight crime. Albeit crime with a magical and supernatural edge.

And I mean edge.

The Hanging Tree is the latest investigation in the series. It starts with the suspicious death of a young woman, Christina Chorley, in the most expensive address in London, One Hyde Park, and escalates from there involving diverse American mercenaries, posh sorceresses, sarcastic river goddesses and bad tempered senior police officers. It also brings Peter Grant and Nightingale into direct conflict with the Faceless Man whose power is matched only by his complete lack of scruples.

Peter must solve the central mystery, keep a promise to a minor deity, and try to avoid having his face, minus the rest of his body, laminated to a tree.

To say any more would be to spoil the fun.

I hope you enjoy it.


Ben Aaronovitch

October 2016


Images: Details from The Hanging Tree book jacket (c) Stephen Walters


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