Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch
Publication Date: April 12, 2022
Summary from GoodReads:
There is a world hidden underneath this great city.
The London Silver Vaults–for well over a century, the largest collection of silver for sale in the world. It has more locks than the Bank of England and more cameras than a celebrity punch-up. Not somewhere you can murder someone and vanish without a trace–only that’s what happened.
The disappearing act, the reports of a blinding flash of light and memory loss amongst the witnesses all make this a case for Detective Constable Peter Grant and the Special Assessment Unit.
Alongside their boss DCI Thomas Nightingale, the SAU find themselves embroiled in a mystery that encompasses London’s tangled history, foreign lands and, most terrifying of all, the North!
And Peter must solve this case soon because back home his partner Beverley is expecting twins any day now. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s about to encounter something–and somebody–that nobody ever expects…
“Most plain clothes officers don’t routinely carry their ASP with them, but then most plain clothes officers aren’t called upon to face down unicorns, sentient mold, and the occasional carnivorous tree.”
This is the ninth book in a series and if you have not read the others then you perhaps do not want to continue with this review. I will not spoil this book, but there may be spoilers for others.
I have enjoyed this series mostly because of the police procedural aspects along side magical mayhem. But the character development appears to have stalled a bit. It kind of felt like Peter, and some of the other characters are a bit stuck and can’t seem to find their way. I did enjoy his relationship with Beverly and some of their banter, as they got ready to welcome their twin girls into the world.
I was glad to see Leslie back, and it was interesting to see how much her magic has developed. She also appears to be still sort of looking out for Peter, and at times appeared to help him, even when she was also only out for herself. I am hoping to see some sort of resolution for them at some point in the future.
I was also disappointed that Nightingale appears to be moving into the background of the novels. He isn’t as prevalent in this one, and I missed his conversations with Peter as well as his explanations of magic and interpretations of what is going on. Also, although Abigail is often mentioned and is somewhere in the background, there is no interactions with her. I really like her and hope to see more of her.
“I saw nothing suspicious—which is unusual. A copper can usually find something suspicious if they look hard enough.”
This story felt a bit underwhelming and confusing at times. I am still not sure what really happened at the end, as far as the resolution of the murders worked out. There appeared to be some things left unresolved also. But the writing is good and at times quite funny, and you have to love a book that includes the line, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.”
The murderer was quite an interesting character, and not wanting to spoil anything I won’t go into much detail. I did like her backstory, and the tie in to history and the Spanish Inquisition. I did learn a little bit about this part of history and England’s role in it.
Overall, even though I did not enjoy this one as much as others in the series, I did still have a good time hanging out with Peter and everyone else. I think a reread of the series might help my enjoyment level, as well as some of the other short stories that I know are available. If you enjoyed the other books in this series than this is a solid addition that you will want to pick up.