Foxglove Summer is the fifth novel in the Rivers of London series by English author Ben Aaronovitch. It's a police procedural urban fantasy that I've really gotten to enjoy listening to on Audible. Although the "Rivers of London" river goddess angle is not my favorite, the practitioners of magic working in the Met angle I like. It's not quite as good as Stross' The Laundry, or as entertaining and believable as The Rook, but it's still good.
The two things I like about this series are, first of all, the police procedural angle. The narrator – a weary London police constable – makes even the most mundane events interesting by providing asides into why police do what they do. It really makes the novel come alive having the narrator constantly explaining what the constable thinks and why. You just don't think of his as a character – he's a real person explaining something he is doing.
But my favorite thing about the series is British actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, whose narration is simply spellbinding. I could listen to him read a menu and he'd have a lump in my throat when I realized that my favorite wasn't among the available cheesecake flavors. He has countless voices at hand for the different characters, all with distinct accents and personalities, and provides more drama than I've ever gotten out of an audiobook. Conclave was good – but Holdbrook-Smith brings astonishing depth to this urban fantasy series. Plot shortcomings (and there are a few) are just irrelevant. Hand this guy Lord of the Rings and my head would explode. The thought just occurred to me that he might some day do a Stephen King book, and now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight.
I finished this one earlier this week and before the day was out I had the next queued up. So what if the book got so-so ratings? I'm not listening for skilled storytelling. I'm listening to Peter Grant tell me what it's like being an apprentice wizard while trying not to run afoul of the bureaucratic maze of London policing. This is just a hell of a series on audiobook.