The October Man is an entertaining detective story with a side of urban fantasy, following a German cop with magic abilities as he attempts to solve a murder case in rural Germany. It’s a quick read that follows a well-drawn trail, evenly pacing discoveries amidst some surprising fantasy elements. I’m newer to urban fantasy so I’m always surprised by how everyday the fantastic becomes. The rural cop paired with the protagonist adds a bit of wonder to the proceedings as this is her first experience with a magical detective, but its otherwise written as a commonplace thing in this universe.
Aaronovitch has a very accessible writing style which pairs well with a detective story. The dialogue feels effortless and believable, especially between the temporary partners as she freaks out about his magic. Her reactions are very believable in our post-Harry Potter world. She’s more interested to hear about fairies and elves than to learn how it really works. The detective himself doesn’t think he’s anything special, adding an extra element of nonchalant to the proceedings. Their dynamic is quite humorous as they’re led all over this small city in German wine country. I’d be very interested to read more from the Rivers of London series after reading through this standalone addition.
Overall, The October Man is a solid read, providing just enough mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat. With fantasy elements sprinkled in and some surprising cameos from unexpected characters, it makes for an entertaining read.
The October Man
By Ben Aaronovitch
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.