Whispers under the ground: London has some weird stuff under it

Father Thames kindly permits some people to live on boats....

Father Thames kindly permits some people to live on boats….

By Ben Aaaronvitch

Book 3 in this series.

Very novel storyline about Magic and Goddesses and the Police in London.

In the UK we still throw silver coins into water to appease the goddesses and ensure good luck – although I am sure most people don’t know why they do it! In this book series, each stream or river in London at least, has its own goddess – indeed one of the most powerful being Lady Tyburn. Being well aware of this fact, on passing by the culverted River Tyburn alongside Regent’s Canal last week, I made sure that I said ‘Hello’ and let her know that I knew she was a goddess to be worshipped or at least acknowledged as a powerful being…!hmm – I may be taking my infatuation with the rivers of London a little too far.

Anyway according to this book there are magicians, good and bad of course, and strange creatures lurking and living in the shadows.

This particular episode is about the tunnels under the ground of all London, how they were created, and who by.

I have read part of a great book: Underground London: Travels Beneath the City Streets by Stephen Smith – as it says on Amazon, it’s an exploration through time: Queen Boudicca lies beneath Platform 10 at King’s Cross (legend has it); Dick Turpin fled the Bow Street Runners along secret passages leading from the cellar of the Spaniards pub in North London (one of our favourite pubs , great meals and just by Hampstead Heath too); the remains of a pre-Christian Mithraic temple have been found near the Bank of England; on the platforms of the now defunct King William Street Underground, posters still warn that ‘Careless talk costs lives’. Stephen Smith uncovers the secrets of the city by walking through sewers, tunnels under such places as Hampton Court, ghost tube stations, and long lost rivers such as the Fleet and the Tyburn (of course). I found out through this book that miners were tunnelling under Cricklewood quite recently, as they are now the artisans of choice for creating the tunnels for gas pipes, sewer building and so on.

I suspect that Ben has read this book too and it is what inspired him.

Anyway, I am waiting for the next in the series please – a refreshing style of writing and enjoyable – but needs to have a stronger storyline next time.


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