Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch [Book Review]
I really enjoyed Lies Sleeping, and liked the multiple meanings inferable from the title. Lies Sleeping continues and expands on the Peter Grant story, for one thing PC Grant is now a Detective Constable. Lies Sleeping represents a watershed in the development of the universe, setting it up for more and bigger stories. The Folly is getting bigger and better organised. We see some of the liaison officers, that merely tolerated Peter and magic, accepting that it’s not going away and treating Peter as one of the family.
There are several key parts of the world that are explored and deepened. There is the nature of magic, keeping with Peter Grant’s penchant for experimental approach and attempts to document how and why. There’s what happened to practitioners when the Folly collapsed in the wake of WW2. The nature of gods and genius loci and how they come into being. Lastly there’s also different traditions and an understanding that there’s more than just what we’ve seen. On top of this there’s an organisation shift in that the Met is realising that it needs more people involved, both as practitioners and regular police. The threat from practitioners being on a par with terrorism.
With all this Lies Sleeping also has a self contained story that has a beginning, middle and end. It deals with the raised challenge level and does it without getting out of hand. There’s a surprise return and ambiguous positioning of Lesley May. The antagonist is well developed and has an involved level of planning and sources inside the Met. This enables a sophisticated approach with multiple win angles for them, thus making it a real challenge for Peter and the others to win out. It engaged me in thinking about it and I also found it a really interesting way of thinking about the antagonist that I’ll take into my own writing.
Overall Lies Sleeping kept me interested and engaged enough that I resented having to put the book down before I was finished reading it. Unfortunately I did need to go to work and sleep. Adulting sucks sometimes…