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Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch.

December 2, 2014

floxglove summerFoxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. Pub. Gollancz, 2014.

I have never read a book like this in my life and I am not certain whether it is a young adult novel or an adult novel. Probably a bit of both but one thing is certain it is for very capable readers.

Peter Grant is a police officer of sorts. He is called into a case when it is suspected that supernatural or magical activity might be involved or as Peter Grant himself describes as “weird shit”.

Two 11 year old girls, Nicole and Hannah, who are close friends go missing and there are no obvious clues. Peter Grant is called in to look at the scene to see if he can detect vestigia or evidence of magic. When the girls cell phones are found with batteries drained and nothing on them even though the SIM cards are still there, Grant concludes they have been stripped by magical pulse.

Set near the English/Welsh border, it is an area where lots of weird people live and there is a history of magic  and for the want of a better phrase “weird shit”. When the girls friends are interviewed they tell of them having an invisible friend as distinct from an imaginary friend, and a robbery has occurred in which the owner considers was done by a horse. How weird is that? Then a sheep is found dead having been pierced by a short object and thrown 3 metres.

Is it all linked. Can it get any weirder. Read it and find out.

Brilliantly written but in a style that has all the excesses of adult novels. The imagery, metaphor and simile are often devastatingly brilliant. The building that Peter Grant rents looks like it has been constructed by “an Amish synchronised barn building team” and the jeep he is driven round in  smells “like and overheated dog”.

Senior readers will either love it or hate it. For me it was a novel experience. It is the 5th of a series that is on the Sunday Times Bestselling list.

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