“The October Man” served as a quick escape from another book I simply didn’t want to keep reading right now. For that, a quick escape, this book is great.
It’s nothing really special, though, and feels like it was written to fill the gap between full-length novels. If you remember the previous book (and especially its ending!) in the series, this probably makes sense.
This book won’t work as an introduction to the series but nobody will expect that, I hope, from an instalment that’s listed as “7.5”. For the fans, though, it’s a nice, quick read and you’ll feel right at home.
This time, we follow Tobias Winter, a German police officer and magic practitioner who – with the help of Vanessa Sommer, a colleague – investigates the murder of two members of a drinking club.
Amusingly, Tobias originates from Ludwigshafen (am Rhein) which is located about 9 km northwest of where I’ve been living for half my life now. While having been born and raised in Lower Saxony for the first half of my life, it came as a bit of a shock that I’ve come to like the land and its people.
Most of the story plays out in and around Trier, though, and not Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. That’s pretty much the only risk Aaronovitch takes – everything else follows his tried formula (or is it a mind-controlling forma?) of the series: Slightly hapless hero cop chases after traces of magic, vestigia, and tries not to mess up to badly.
And both Winter and Aaronovitch succeed at that – the trademark humour is there…
“Mama used to be a radical Green, which is how she met my father. She assaulted him, he arrested her—it was love at first handcuffing.”
… the usual banter is as well…
“Then she laughed and looked me straight in the eyes. “Fuck me,” she said. “You’re the magic police.” “It’s not nearly as much fun as you think it is,” I said. But I could tell she didn’t believe me.”
… and, just like that and before you quite realise, the book is over as is this review.