There’s no way to do this without spoilers for the previous book, so…
HERE BE SPOILERS.
Reeling from the betrayal of his best friend, Leslie May, Peter Grant is sent to the country to help with the investigation into the disappearance of two 11 year old girls. Though there’s nothing obviously magical about their disappearances, magic cops take a special interest in crimes related to children, and Nightingale seems to want Peter out of town, so off he goes…
What follows feels like a bit of a reboot for the series. After the gut-punch of Leslie’s betrayal of Peter to go off with the Faceless Man in Broken Homes, I wasn’t sure how Aaronovitch would continue. In Foxglove Summer, he steps back from the larger story arc to focus on a smaller mystery as we follow Peter tracking down the supernatural elements in the disappearance of these two girls. The girls are found midway through the book, but their discovery just draws Peter deeper into a fantasy world that is relatively new to the series (I don’t want to give away too much, but Princess Luna! foundlings! gypsies!).
While Aaronovitch is expanding the fantasy world of Peter and friends, he continues some solid character development, giving readers a glimpse into Peter’s inner life as he tries to deal (or not deal, as the case may be) with the fallout of Leslie’s choice. We also are introduced to a few new, fun characters (Dominic and his boyfriend!) and spend more time with some older characters (much more Beverly Brook here and we learn a bit more about what Molly is).
Aaronovitch skillfully weaves together the larger narrative of the Faceless Man with the smaller mystery of the disappearing girls of Herefordshire, while simultaneously introducing the reader to new worlds and moving his characters around in intriguing ways. Once again the audiobook is superb, and I’m still a Kobna Holdbrook-Smith fangirl. Highly recommended.
4 of 5 stars.
Title: Foxglove Summer
Author: Ben Aaronovitch