[[quoteright:189:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rivers_of_london_1845.jpg]]
->"A police whistle on Bow Street. For a moment I felt a connection, ... with the night, the streets, the whistle and the smell of blood and my own fear, with all the other uniforms of London down the ages..."

''Rivers of London'' is a series of books which follow the career of Peter Grant, Police Constable and apprentice wizard, as he tackles supernatural crime in London along with his superior officer, and Master Wizard, Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale. Written by former ''Series/DoctorWho'' writer Ben Aaronovitch, the series comprises four books so far. Aaronovitch has been commissioned to write a further four.

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[[folder: The books are: ]]

* ''Rivers of London'', or ''Midnight Riot'' in the US
* ''Moon Over Soho''
* ''Whispers Under Ground''
* ''Broken Homes''
* ''Foxglove Summer'' (Upcoming: August 2014)
* ''The Hanging Tree'' (Provisional title: Summer 2015)


With its realistic London setting, it's a good example of UrbanFantasy where the {{Masquerade}} is maintained by a combination of stealth and public indifference.

There is a website where you can read about the background of the novel, including a CharacterBlog.

http://www.the-folly.com/

In June 2013 the series was optioned for television, and in January 2014 it was announced that Titan Comics had picked up the licence for a graphic novel adaptation.

There is also an official [[http://libbylibby2.tumblr.com/post/68765662059/the-rivers-of-london-rap-written-composed-and Rivers of London Rap]] by Doc Brown and Mikis Michaelides.
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!!The books contain examples of:
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[[folder:Tropes A to K]]
* AboveTheInfluence: Peter turns down a very drunk Lesley about halfway through ''Whispers Under Ground''.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Which is connected to the Absurdly Spacious Subway System, which leads to an ElaborateUndergroundBase of magical folk. Forms the setting of ''Whispers Under Ground''; however in this instance (magic folk base aside) this is actually a case of [[TruthInTelevision Truth In Literature]]; the London Sewers and UsefulNotes/TheLondonUnderground ''are'' really that massive.
* AcronymAndAbbreviationOverload: The Metropolitan Police love this (probably TruthInTelevision). If an SIO in the SAU bungles his IIP, some ACPO will get his nose out of joint.
* AintTooProudToBeg: Peter and, surprisingly, Lesley engage in some shameless begging when taken prisoner in book four as they wait for Nightingale to bring the cavalry.
* AlcoholicParent: Peter's dad is a serious and habitual heroin addict. He isn't a bad parent but just a bit ineffectual, although Peter's mother being an ApronMatron probably means she did all the parenting stuff anyway. [[spoiler:As of the end of ''Moon Over Soho'' he's clean, and remarks that of all the drugs he quit, nicotine was the hardest.]]
* AltumVidetur: The magic spells are all in Latin, but only because they were written down by Sir IsaacNewton (who used the language of Scientific Gentlemen of his day).
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: The cover of the US edition transforms Peter from a mixed race nerd (by his own admission he looks more North African than anything else) into a ScaryBlackMan.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: The Rivers themselves, and the BigBad of book one.
* ApronMatron: Mama Thames (it is implied that Peter's own mother is an example of this trope).
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In book one, Isis swears on her true name, her husband's life, and the future prospects of the Oxford Rowing Team that Peter will be safe.
* AssholeVictim:
** The would-be rapist whose victim has a VaginaDentata. No efforts are spent in trying to confirm this though.
** All the other victims in ''Soho'' fall squarely into this trope too.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Leslie claims Peter is too easily-distracted to be a street cop. In his defense, Peter argues that if he were as focused as she'd like, he'd overlook ''vestigia'' and other subtle hints of the uncanny.
* AwfulTruth: Whatever it was Nightingale saw and did at Ettersberg (now known as Buchenwald).
* BattleDiscretionShot: When Nightingale faces the Night Witch, [[spoiler:Lesley and Peter have to take cover behind a Range Rover. They catch the roof of a barn literally blowing off the top, before the whole thing comes down. Shortly after that, a nearby house gets torn in half. Since they don't really get to see much of the action, just the after-effects and then the aftermath, it's almost like an in-universe OffscreenMomentOfAwesome.]]
* BazaarOfTheBizarre: The Goblin Market, which also functions as a bar/social club.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: An ''extreme'' aversion with [[spoiler: Lesley, whose beautiful face ''literally'' falls off at the end of the first book. As of book 3, reconstructive surgery has restored her speech and ability to eat solids, but she still wears a mask to avoid grossing people out.]]
* BeneathTheEarth: ''Whispers Underground'' eventually introduces us to [[spoiler:"The Quiet People"/"The Whisperers" a society of fair folk who live underground, also there is an ''literal'' underground nightclub in an old military bunker frequented by members of London's magical society.]]
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: Sir Isaac Newton was the founder of English magic. Historical figures like Dr. Polidori were Newtonian magicians.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Mister Punch]] in book one, the Faceless Man from book two onward.
* BigEater: Zachary from book three.
* {{Bishonen}}: Inexplicably, Nightingale is turned into one of these on the [[http://temporarilysignificant.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/japanese-cover.html Japanese]] [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qp4k2-4DbhE/Ud2dwqrZnwI/AAAAAAAAC1Y/WDwNdNyBCro/s1600/japan_moon+over+soho.jpg covers]].
* BittersweetEnding: Sure the {{Big Bad}}s get stopped, but book one ends with [[spoiler:Lesley's face falling off]], book two ends with the [[spoiler:suicide of Peter's love interest and her sisters when they realise [[WhatHaveIBecome what they are]]]].
* BlackComedy: Very much in evidence throughout, as police officers' sense of humour tends to this (which is TruthInTelevision). DC Trollope's version of ArsonMurderAndJaywalking being a prime example.
* BlackEyesOfEvil: Molly gets these when she nearly attacks Peter after the hemomancy rite.
* BlackMage: During World War II, the [[spoiler:Russians]] created [[spoiler:all female]] squads of these called the [[spoiler:Night Witches.]] One of the surviving members shows up [[spoiler: in the fourth book to have the a wizard vs. wizard duel with Nightingale, which is coincidentally the first time readers get to actually see the man cut loose. He's apparently so good that the Night Witch herself is impressed at the end of it all. The Germans had squads called Werewolves to combat enemy magicians. They were magic users themselves, but may or may not have been actual werewolves.]]
* BodyHorror: The victims of [[spoiler:Punch]]. Those of the Pale Lady surely qualify, at least for [[spoiler: male]] readers.
* BookcasePassage: Not a bookcase, but there's an equally-cliche secret door into the [[spoiler: subterranean navvy community]] in ''Whispers Under Ground''. Played with when Peter presses a convenient brick simply to get the cliched notion it'll open the door out of the way, and is amazed that it ''actually works''.
* BritainIsOnlyLondon: Well, London and Thames Valley. Lampshaded in ''Moon Over Soho''; Nightingale tells Peter that there's more to life than London, and Peter replies "People keep saying that, but I've never actually seen any proof".
* CannibalClan: Peter and Nightingale spook each other by speculating they might find one of these in ''Whispers Under Ground'', mostly because they'd both seen the same schlock-horror movie about subterranean cannibals. [[spoiler: Subverted, because the subterranean-adapted navvies raise albino pigs and get Tesco deliveries instead.]]
* CardboardBoxes[=/=]FruitCart[=/=]SheetOfGlass: Peter wishes that he ''could'' be lucky enough to encounter such obstacles while "going blues and twos" to a crime scene, instead of multi-ton street-sweeping machines or idiot drivers who won't heed the siren and get out of the way.
* CatGirl: mentioned in ''Soho'', as well as a Cat''boy'', who is more 'western', being covered in fur from (at least) the waist up, and has a decidedly feline face. The fact that they are a {{Fetish}} for some people is [[BestialityIsDepraved deconstructed]].
* TheCavalry: Nightingale has to play this in book four when Peter and Lesley get captured. He really [[TheGlovesComeOff lets rip too]].
* CelebrityResemblance: Peter gets teased for looking like UsefulNotes/BarackObama.
* ChekhovsGun: The ''E. coli'' outbreak from ''Whispers''.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: The Ghost Magistrate doesn't see the harm in wife beating, but harm a child and he is a HangingJudge.
* ClassyCane: Nightingale has a silver tipped cane which he is rarely without.
* {{Cliffhanger}}: Book four ends on one with [[spoiler: Lesley's defection to evil]].
* ColdIron: Mentioned to be a problem for the river folk in ''Moon Over Soho''.
* TheConsigliere: Oxley is this to Father Thames. Tyburn would like to be this to Mama Thames, but comes across as closer to TheStarscream.
* CoolCar: Nightingale's classic Jaguar (a Mark 2 [=XK6=]) and Beverly Brook's new MINI.
* CompellingVoice:
** Lady Ty.
** The Faceless Man.
** Punch, while on stage at least.
* CordonBleughChef: Molly's culinary experiments in book four leave a lot to be desired, like edibility or actually knowing what it's made from.
* CoversAlwaysLie:
** The blurb on the UK version tries to sell the book as a Literature/HarryPotter clone. Anyone who bought the book on the basis of that is in for a shock. The US version has its own problems, downplaying the whimsical aspect of the novels and selling them as thrillers.
** The blurb on UK version of ''Whispers Underground'' gives the impression that Agent Reynolds' "deep religious beliefs" are going to cause her to come to blows with Peter. In the book itself, her religious beliefs are mentioned twice: when she asks Peter not to take the Lord's name in vain and when, at the end, she's mentioned to have found a local evangelical family to spend Christmas with. Neither has any impact at all on the plot.
*** The Del Rey edition is even worse, calling her "a born-again Christian who regards all magic as the work of Satan", although there is zero evidence of this in the book.
** The Del Rey covers not only turn self-confessed nerd Peter into a ScaryBlackMan silhouette, but it also has him wielding a pistol: something he, like most British police, isn't authorized to do except under special circumstances.
* CreatorProvincialism: Ben Aaronovitch has admitted on his site and in his Author descriptions to absolutely adoring London and not wishing to live anywhere else. Peter is very much in the same mold, some people do try to call him out on this however.
* CriticalStaffingShortage: The Folly, the police division supposed to be responsible for all of Britain's magical law enforcement, is down from its full divisional strength to a single officer, raising to three and back down to two again over the course of the series. This has left London (and presumably the [[BritainIsOnlyLondon rest of the UK]]) at serious risk, due to infighting by the various {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s, dangerous magical criminals like the Faceless Man, and the {{Masquerade}} starting to fall apart, as they are unable to even respond properly much less anticipate magical crimes.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: In the fourth book, a man is burned alive from the inside out. His bones end up catching fire, his eyes are boiled, his mouth his charred, but his clothes are unharmed.
* CuteMonsterGirl: Molly the Maid. Mostly human looking, but has a snake like tongue, a smile that is just a bit too wide and too full of razor sharp teeth.
* DeathGlare: Given by Tyburn after Peter blows up her fountain, trashing her garden.
* DebateAndSwitch: At the end of ''Soho'' [[spoiler:Simone and her sisters are revealed to be inadvertently feeding off of other people's lifeforce to stay alive. Nightingale is for summary execution as per historical treatment of similar creatures. Peter says [[InhumanableAlienRights they have rights under law]], Nightingale counters that it would blow the {{Masquerade}} wide open to go through the courts, and it looks like they have a major dilemma on their hands. Then the sisters commit suicide because they cannot live with the revelation]] solving everything neatly.
* DemonicPossession: The MO of the BigBad from book one.
* DeskJockey: Peter's fate before meeting Nightingale.
* DestructiveSaviour: Peter. This runs from the mundane, like hijacking an ambulance and causing twenty thousand pounds worth of damage, to the magical, where Nightingale jokes that Peter's ''[[CallingCard signare]]'' is the tendency to [[MadeOfExplodium make things explode]].
* DiscreetDiningDisposal: Toby's tendency to waddle can be traced to this trope, as Molly tends to cook much too much and has LethalChef tendencies.
* DomesticAbuse: The Ghost Magistrate is fine with this, all women are shrews after all.
* DoNotCallMePaul: Tyburn? That is Lady Ty to you, peasant.
* DontBeRidiculous: Agent Reynolds' reaction to Peter and Kumar [[CasualDangerDialog discussing whether their current experience is more like being a bobsleigh team or the luge]].
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: in ''Broken Homes'', Lesley betrays Peter in order to join the Faceless Man, so that her face can be restored.]]
* EasterEgg: The covers of the UK editions are loaded with them.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: In book three they discover the Faceless Man was apparently planning one of these under the cover of Subway works, but they managed to discover it before he'd done more than just construct the shaft (although Peter reveals his architect training by pointing out where he was planning on hanging the floors and utilities).
* EvenTheRatsWontTouchIt: Toby whimpers and hides when offered some of Molly's eggs Benedict.
* EvilHasABadSenseOfHumor: The Faceless Man. In book two, he leaves the message "IF YOU CAN READ THIS YOU ARE A NERD AND ALSO PROBABLY DEAD" written on a demon trap in [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Tolkien]]'s elvish script. In book four, he leaves a note on a time bomb warning that it is booby-trapped and should not be tampered with "as being blown up often offends".
* FaceHeelTurn: At the end of book four it is revealed that [[spoiler: Lesley is working for the Faceless Man when she tasers Peter to help him get away. Disturbingly we have no idea for how long she has been a double agent, but the victim at the start of the book was killed as part of the Faceless Man's research into magically creating a new face for her]].
* FairCop: Lesley May. [[spoiler:Shame about that run-in with Mr. Punch's ''Dissimulo'' spell.]]
* FertileFeet: In an earthy variation, wildflowers blossom overnight at the spot where Father Thames won the literal pissing contest in book four.
* FictionalSport: Nightingale's old schoolmates played an ''impello''-based version of dodge ball that they called Indoor Tennis. Peter and Lesley, naturally, call it Pocket Quidditch.
* FirstPersonSmartass: Peter.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** In book three [[spoiler: Peter catches a glimpse of Lesley taking off her mask and showing Woodville-Gentle her face]]. At the time Peter assumes it was just as part of a distraction, but in book four [[spoiler:Lesley shows that she has switched sides on the promise of Woodville-Gentle's student "The Faceless Man" fixing the magical damage. That scene was clearly an early consult]].
** Book four also foreshadows this when both Peter and Lesley are taken prisoner and the {{mooks}} are getting ready to kill them; [[spoiler: Lesley uncharacteristicly joins Peter in begging the guys to call their boss, with her voice noted as having urgency in it. Its clear she has already switched sides at that point, or at least has been given the offer]].
** In a subtle example from book one, [[spoiler: Leslie doesn't have to ask whom the 18th century actor Mr. Punch has a grudge against was, even though she's already shown herself to be quite uninterested in London's cultural history. This is an early sign that she's possessed by Punch himself.]]
* FunWithAcronyms: The mnemonic for first-officer-on-the-scene-of-a-disaster is SAD CHALETS. "Survey; oh god there's a bomb. Assess; oh god there's more than one bomb and everyone in the tower will die. Disseminate; oh god there's a bomb, we're going to die, send help."
* GenderReveal: Ash Thames discovers during sex the woman he picked up in a bar in ''Soho'' is a very convincing crossdresser. It turns out not to bother him, he was having too much fun to care. Peter is more than a little discomforted by the revelation though.
* GenkiGirl: Beverly Brook.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: DCI Nightingale, right down to the silver tipped cane.
* GentlemanWizard: DCI Nightingale again
* {{Ghostapo}}: Whatever happened at Ettersberg.
* [[GirlOfTheWeek Girl Of The Book]]: Beverly in book one, and Simone in book two.
** Simone [[spoiler:is more of a TemporaryLoveInterest though]].
* GrammarNazi: Nightingale corrects Peter's grammar from time to time, and gives no credence to Peter's counterargument that colloquial speech ''is'' the standard style nowadays.
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler:Ghost Henry Pyke by way of Mr. Punch does this to Lesley for most of the book one]].
* GratuitousGerman: Used by Peter to a German family who get trapped in the middle of the riot.
* TheGreatBritishCopperCapture: In book four we essentially get the magic version when Peter and Lesley are taken prisoner by the Faceless man's {{mooks}} and [[TheDragon Dragon]].
* HalfHumanHybrid:
** Created by Black Mag....[[InsistentTerminology Ethically Challenged Magic]] in ''Soho''.
** Zachary from ''Whispers'' is part fae (although Peter speculates that the fae are in any case an offshoot of humanity whose ancestors were permanently altered by magic).
* HiddenDepths: Nightingale may look like an OfficerAndAGentleman, but he once personally destroyed ''two'' [[CoolTank Tiger]] tanks by himself (to put it in perspective, Peter has difficulty in burning through a paper target).
* HorrorHunger: Implied to be why Molly nearly eats Peter after the [[{{Whatevermancy}} hemomancy]] rite in the first book.
* HumanSubspecies: Peter speculates that [[spoiler: the Quiet People]] are this, although the question isn't really settled.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The chapters of ''Moon Over Soho'' all have the titles of classic jazz songs.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Trope [[DiscussedTrope name-checked]] by Peter in book three to describe how an automatic paintballing machine in the shooting gallery fires erratically.
* ImprovisedWeapon: The murder victim from ''Whispers'' was stabbed to death with a shard of broken plate.
* InfantImmortality: Nightmarishly averted within the first few chapters of the first book, just to give the reader an impression of the kind of ride they're in for.
* InsistentTerminology:
** When Peter and Nightingale discover they're up against a black magician in book two, Peter points out that the term "black magician" is problematic, particularly since Peter is of African descent and is thus, in a sense, himself a black magician. Thereafter he uses variations on "ethically challenged magical practitioner" instead.
** Zack gets offended when Peter calls him a goblin, grumbling that people who don't know what it means shouldn't call other people that.
* InstantSedation: Peter wants something that does this, Dr Walid explains there is no such thing (although he can come up with something that will work reasonably quickly at the expense of common sense and basic safety). That would be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etorphine etorphine hydrochloride]] - an opioid derivative a thousand times stronger than morphine, commonly used as a general anesthetic for large animals and perfectly capable of causing fatal respiratory arrest in very small doses. Dr Walid helpfully supplies Peter with auto-injectors of Narcan (an opioid antidote) as well as a card to give paramedics in case of accidental exposure.
-->''Warning. I have been stupid enough to stick myself with etorphine hydrochloride, the following is the list of heroic measures that will be necessary to save my life...''
* InterruptedSuicide: Mama Thames tells Peter that her decision to jump into the river was repeatedly delayed by how unsuitable she found one bridge after another. Also, the would-be "one-under" who kept having to wait because he wouldn't jump in front of a Tube train if any kids were around to see.
* JerkAss: Tyburn, oh is she ever. And A ManipulativeBitch to boot.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Peter.
* JurisdictionFriction: Averted. Peter notes that unlike in the media, the police services all work fairly well together and do not get possessive over high-profile cases. If anything, the opposite is true, police departments will actively work to transfer responsibility to other departments because of the massive cost and time involved in murder investigations so that it doesn't come out of their budget.
* KnightInSourArmor: Peter again.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes L to P]]
* LastOfHisKind[=/=]ThereIsAnother: Nightingale ''thought'' he was the last master Newtonian practitioner in the UK. Then Peter ran into the Faceless Man...
* LateArrivalSpoiler[=/=]FirstEpisodeSpoiler: It is increasingly hard to talk about [[spoiler:PC Lesley May]] after the end of book one without giving away the conclusion.
* LesbianCop: Detective Sergeant Stephanopoulis, described as a "terrifying lesbian". She's also an OldFashionedCopper and the only joke ever told about her sexuality is "do you know what happened to the last sod who made fun of Stephanopoulis? Neither does anyone else, they haven't found the body yet".
* LethalChef:
** Molly acquires more than a bit of this trope in book two. As long as she is cooking traditional Victorian style food she is top notch, but when she tries branching out into anything else it all goes a bit wrong.
** Peter's mother also qualifies on grounds she believes that anything that is not on the verge of spontaneous combustion does not have enough chilli peppers in it.
* LivingMemory: Ghosts are apparently memories and personalities imprinted on the residual vestigia of a location, rather than the actual disembodied souls of dead people. They gradually fade over time as the vestigia dissipate, suffering GhostAmnesia and eventually disappearing entirely.
* LosingYourHead:
** The unfortunate Larry The Lark, head chopped off, [[DecapitationPresentation served up]] on a silver platter at a banquet in the sixties...and and still kept alive by ethically challenged magic until the conclusion of ''Soho''. Just to add to the HumiliationConga it was dressed up in a turban and used as a fortune telling machine.
** Victims of Mr Punch tend to suffer this as well, though it's a fifty/fifty chance whether you'll have your head whacked off by blunt trauma or [[YourHeadAsplode blown apart by magic.]]
* MadLibsCatchPhrase: Peter, narrating, will occasionally come out with a surprisingly erudite bit of historical knowledge, always followed by "I knew all this because..." ...it was on a plaque he read once to relieve the boredom of guard duty. Or ...Nightingale makes him read Tacitus in the original Latin as part of his magic homework. Or it came up while he was watching ''Series/DoctorWho'' or playing D&D as a kid.
* TheMagicGoesAway: Subverted in-universe: Nightingale and his surviving colleagues ''thought'' magic would fade away in the wake of Ettersberg, and it did weaken for a couple of decades. Then it started coming back [[spoiler: and seems to be rising faster as of book four.]]
* MagicAIsMagicA: Described in minute detail.
* TheMagicComesBack:
** Magic was believed to be declining after the events of World War II. Apparently it's been making a comeback since the 1960's.
** In ''Broken Homes'' it seems this process is accelerating. Particularly given the conclusion where [[spoiler: a massive magical collection device is discharged over London]].
* MagicStaff: [[spoiler: Nightingale's cane is one. The fourth book reveals that they used to be forged by an order called the Sons of Weyland, but the order no longer exists and Nightingale may be the only one who knows how to make one now - in England at least. They can be used to store up magical energy that a magician can call upon when he needs it.]]
* MagicVersusScience: Magic is an EMP type here. Notably it does have the same effect on human brains as it does on technology, just electrical technology is more sensitive and will short out before your brain does. The novels as a whole avert this though. The organised study of magic originates in the setting with Isaac Newton, and Peter frequently attempts to fit magic into an empiricist, rationalist framework. Magic shorts out modern technology not because [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles magic is inimical to modern science]] but because, it is speculated, modern culture has made technology [[PostmodernMagic quasi-magical in itself]].
* MakingASplash: The Rivers can control their respective watercourses' flow, both consciously and as an unconscious effect of their emotional state. Beverley Brook calls up a flood to extinguish the Covent Garden fires. [[spoiler: Nicky is implied to have drowned one of book four's tree-cutters on dry land, to avenge Sky.]]
* MaleGaze: The books are from Peter perspective so it's Justified.
* MarketBasedTitle: Book one was re-titled as "Midnight Riot" for the US release, ostensibly [[ViewersAreMorons because American readers need something more dynamic]] to catch their interest.
* {{Masquerade}}: As per standard in this genre, created more through public indifference and traditional discretion. As of book four it is becoming increasingly shaky though and may not be sustainable for much longer.
* MegaNeko: The Ethically Challenged Magician creates ''real'' catgirls and catboys.
* {{Meido}}: Molly, always wears the full Edwardian-Victorian maid outfit, and to quote the narration in ''Moon Over Soho''.
-->''Molly glided into the room like the winner of the all-London Gothic Lolita competition.''
* TheMenInBlack: Technically The Folly should be this, but Nightingale hasn't been up to much for years, Peter isn't too keen on the idea, and [[spoiler:Lesley was a bit too brash and indiscreet in her methods]].
* MerlinSickness: [[spoiler:Nightingale]] was born in 1900, aged normally until the 1970s, and then for reasons that are still not clear began getting younger again. The effect is only on his biological age, however; his memory works normally. [[spoiler: The fourth book reveals that he's not the only one who this happened to.]]
* MuggingTheMonster: Sending a skinhead around to collect a debt may have worked if the person he went to intimidate wasn't a goddess capable of mind controlling him.
* MundaneSolution: Villain example when [[spoiler: Punch decides to [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim just shoot]] Nightingale]].
* MyGrandsonMyself: Mention is made in ''Moon Over Soho'' of [[spoiler:Nightingale]] having pretended to be his own son in order to attend an old colleague's funeral without raising awkward questions. Mostly, though, he gets by by keeping to himself and not having protracted interactions with anybody who isn't part of the {{Masquerade}}.
* NationalWeapon: Peter thinks the pickax handle should be enshrined as the traditional "cultural weapon" of the London police.
* NatureSpirit: Given the nature of the series [[spoiler: it was inevitable that an actual dryad would show up in the fourth book albeit as the spirit of a plane tree.]]
* NoNameGiven: Mama Thames claims she no longer ''remembers'' her name as a mortal woman.
* NoodleImplements[=/=]NoodleIncident: Whatever happened to Peter and Leslie during their probationary training, that involved "the dwarf, the showgirl, and the fur coat".
* TheObiWan: Nightingale fulfils this role to Peter. Although he verges on ObsoleteMentor a couple of times, especially when it comes to modern police methods, and this is a particular bone of contention at the end of ''Soho'' when the issue of InhumanableAlienRights and due process through the courts, versus just killing sentient non-human possible criminals comes up.
* ObliviouslyEvil: The ghost of Henry Pyke [[spoiler: doesn't seem aware that the people harmed by Mr. Punch's antics are being hurt for real, not just pretend]].
* OldFashionedCopper: DCI Seawoll.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: See that page for details.
* PerceptionFilter: Possessed by the BigBad of ''Soho''.
* PersonalRaincloud: Nightingale creates one that follows Peter around for half an hour, after Peter complains about only being taught basic spells and never getting to see any really elaborate magic.
* PoliceBrutality: A mild example, but Lesley has a distinct preference for threats of violence and can be counted on to suggest the most direct and violent course of action in any situation.
* PoliceProcedural: The books are as much procedural as they are UrbanFantasy. Only the coppers have to not only apply the law of the land to the non-human community same as they would with regular humans, but also maintain the {{Masquerade}} too.
* PopCulturedBadass:
** Peter makes a ''lot'' of GenreSavvy references to movies, ''Series/DoctorWho'', and various fictional wizards. His associates aren't bad at these, either.
** Even the Faceless Man drops a Tolkien reference in the inscription on a demon trap.
* PopCulturalOsmosisFailure:
** Nightingale doesn't really get Peter's Literature/HarryPotter namedrops.
** Invoked and averted when Peter thinks he's going to have to explain to Stephanopolos what [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Unseen University]] is, but she tells him her partner is a Creator/TerryPratchett fan.
* PostModernMagik: While magic itself will to destroy any technology equipped with a microprocessor, it's not uncommon to find supernatural beings who have embraced the modern world. So far we've seen:
** Local goddesses with mobile phones, university degrees, and Wikipedia pages.
** The equivalent of dwarves who carry Sten guns, wear sunglasses and donkey jackets, get their groceries from Tesco, and are fond of the music of Queen.
** Technologically savvy magicians using the internet to translate parts of grimoires.
** Certain modern plastics hold magic residue nearly as well as stone does.
** [[spoiler: [[CatGirl Cat girls]] created with magic and possibly with the assistance of modern science as well.]]
** One of Nightingale's school chums speculated about whether a ''GeniusLoci'' could emerge within the subway system or telephone network.
** The fourth book introduces [[spoiler:a council estate that contained a device for capturing magical energy and also had a dryad living in its copse of plane trees]].
* PowderKegCrowd: The patrons at the Royal Opera. Mr. Punch, mind-controlling several police officers via the ghost of Henry Pyke, incites the crowd to riot and burn down most of Covent Garden.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: The Demon Traps. [[spoiler: Essentially magical landmines powered by a tormented ghost]]
* PreventTheWar: In the first book, the B-Plot is that the two {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of the Thames, and their families, are gearing up to go toe-to-toe with each other (with the implication that it will be very unpleasant for everyone living in the Thames valley, estuary, and catchment area) and our heroes need to find a way to force a truce.
* PsychicAssistedSuicide:
** The BigBad of ''Soho'' tries this on Peter to force him to jump off a roof.
** Tyburn tried something similar in book one to try and force Peter to drink from her fountain to put himself in thrall to her. [[spoiler:The practice he got in then helped him resist the bad guy of ''Soho''.]]
** It pops up again [[spoiler: in the fourth book where a man is apparently made to jump in front of a train.]]
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler: Beverley Brook at the end of book one.]] Comes back in book four.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes Q to Z]]
* RailroadTracksOfDoom: The ghost of a teen who got hit while tagging the inside of a rail tunnel appears briefly in ''Whispers''.
* [[ViewersAreGeniuses Readers Are Genuises]]: The books are best read with an A-to-Z of London to one side, and a copy of ''[[http://www.bartleby.com/81/ Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable]]'' to the other. There is a lot of detail and you will need to keep up.
* RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun: Thomas "Tiger Tank" Nightingale once took down two of the aforementioned vehicles during the second World War. Considering that Peter has trouble aiming properly at paper targets, and can at most burn through a door, the tank thing is pretty damned impressive, and Peter makes sure that the reader knows it.
* RichBitch: Tyburn.
* RooftopConfrontation: The climax of ''Soho'' [[spoiler:and the climax of ''Broken Homes''.]]
* RunningGag: People whom Nightingale or Peter are telling about the supernatural for the first time promptly ask if ''aliens'' are real, too. (When Peter himself asks his new boss this, Nightingale says: "Not yet".)
* SarcasticConfession: In book three Lesley sarcastically says to create a distraction for Peter to snoop around she'll [[spoiler:take her mask off]]. When Peter catches a glimpse while snooping, [[{{Foreshadowing}} she actually]] has.
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Peter is generally a quiet, thoughtful type who takes a scientific approach to magic and a community-based approach to police work. Lesley is much more gung-ho.
* ScarsAreForever:
** [[spoiler:Lesley]]'s horrific injuries at the end of ''Rivers'' do not get any better in ''Soho''. As of book 3, [[spoiler:she's getting better at letting people see her without her mask, but things have not improved much]]. Nightingale is still suffering from his wounds too, keeping him firmly in the background and as support.
** Oberon - despite being some sort of Fae - still bears the scars from his days as a slave a few hundred years ago.
** In book four, [[spoiler: Lesley is revealed to have become TheMole for the Faceless Man, and it's implied that she expects him to subvert this trope and restore her face.]]
* SceneryPorn: Aaronovitch's prose is detailed enough to make this a literary example. Peter trained as an architect (but his draughtsmanship was too poor to cut it) thus why Peter tends to go on about buildings so much.
* ShootingGallery: The Folly has one for trainee wizards to practice their fireball skills in. As a mark of just how long it has been since it was put to use, all the target silhouettes are still shaped like WW 2 Nazis.
* ShoutOut:
** When Peter asks what the collective noun for wizards is, Nightingale says it's a coven and Dr Walid jokes that it's actually "[[{{Discworld/Wintersmith}} an argument]]".
** The grafitti artist in ''Whispers Under Ground'' is interrupted in the middle of writing "[[Film/BillAndTed Be Excellent To Each Other]]".
** Sergeant William Daverc "really d'Averc" = Huillam d'Averc in ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheRunestaff''.
* ShownTheirWork: And how!
* SinisterSurveillance: Averted when Peter points out (TruthInTelevision) that the supposedly ubiquitous "surveillance cameras" are simply all the security cameras there are, and not linked to some Big Brother network.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Waaaaay down the cynical side.
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Much of the magical community does this with Nightingale, always referring to him as "The Nightingale".
* SpotOfTea: In book three Peter's refusal of tea when he meets The Quiet Folk sparks widespread muttering and consternation.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: FBI agent Kimberly Reynolds dyes her hair a plain brown to avert this trope, as nobody took her seriously as a good-looking redhead.
* SocialEngineering: Peter's training has equipped him with loads of little tricks used by RealLife police officers, such as asking an unidentified person in a car for their driver's license: if you ask their name they might lie and have a right not to answer, but if they think it's a traffic issue they'll hand their card over without complaint.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Used a ''lot'', and probably inevitable in a series that combines streetwise cop-jargon with Latin-based thaumaturgical terminology in the same dialogue.
* TheStarscream: Tyburn is implied to be one of these to Mama Thames in ''Rivers'' and in ''Soho'' Nightingale confirms her status, and implies that when the inevitable clash between the two comes that it might be a good time to take a holiday on another continent.
* StrawmanFallacy: In ''Soho'' when confronted with the issue of InhumanableAlienRights, Nightingale tries to make Peter concede that he is only arguing for rights for [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman non-humans]] because the perps are attractive. Peter spots the strawman there, and says that he might not have thought to argue [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute if they were grotesque]] but that just makes him "shallow, not wrong".
* StringyHairedGhostGirl: Molly is explicitly described as looking like one when Peter first sees her.
* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic: Started by Newton, and Peter adds his own contributions to this when he works out why Magic and Electronic Technology are incompatible.
* SupernaturalMartialArts: In ''Broken Homes'', Peter is practicing his ''formae'' and speculates that it might be possible to create one with the shape of the body, rather than using words to form a shape in your mind, and maybe that's where the idea of martial artists flying and throwing energy bolts comes from.
* SupernaturalSensitivity: A magician can sense magic as a flash of sensations. The Rivers are able to literally smell when someone is a magician, even if the magician in question isn't using magic at the time. Toby the dog is also able to sense magic. [[spoiler: The Night Witch in the fourth book says that the Germans had units of men - called werewolves - able to "sniff out" magicians. These men may or may not have been actual lycanthropes.]]
* TactfulTranslation: Madame Teng's translator in book 3 engages in a bit of this when Teng delivers a tirade about the position of Mainland China vis-a-vis Taiwan. He basically just says that its important to her that Peter knows she dislikes modern mainland China and, while Peter doesn't need to know the exact translation, can he just look interested please.
* TeamPet: Toby the Dog.
* ThereWasADoor: Played with by Nightingale in book four, when [[spoiler: he blows a huge hole in the front of a building, only to slip in the ''back'' door while his opponent is taking aim at the resulting dust-cloud.]]
* UnbelievableSourcePlot: ''Rivers of London'' starts with Police Constable Peter Grant interviewing a witness to a murder, who happens to be a ghost. This testimony, however, will hardly stand in a courtroom, and Grant has to use it as a springboard to find evidence that will. Similar problems with magical evidence come up elsewhere in the series, but don't drive as much of the plot.
* TheUnmasquedWorld: Hinted at - it hasn't happened yet, but by the end of the third book, magic is crawling out of the woodwork at an accelerating pace and Peter Grant has reluctantly come to agree with Lady Tyburn that the Masquerade can't last much longer. (It's not so much the conclusion itself that he's reluctant about, he just hates the idea of Lady Ty being right about anything.)
* UnusuallyUninterestingName: The Folly is officially merely a part of The Economic and Specialist Crime Team.
* UrbanFantasy: It's about a 21st century cop who uses magic.
* UselessSecurityCamera:
** In ''Rivers'', the first murder is caught on CCTV, but a key event in the lead-up to it, vital to figuring out who did it and why, occurs just outside the camera's field of view.
** Justified in cases when magic fries monitoring devices.
** The fact that London's ubiquitous cameras ''didn't'' record the victim's arrival at the site of his death becomes an early clue that there are hidden passages beneath the city in ''Whispers''.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Peter comes up with one of his own by combining ''aer'' (gives you "grip" on otherwise thin air) and ''congelato'' (causes liquids and gases to solidify). Both spells are fairly useless separate, but together make a handy instant DeflectorShield.
* VaginaDentata: Possessed by the Pale Lady, whose first victim is found at the end of book one, and who plays a signficant part in book two.
* VillainyFreeVillain: Tyburn. She's a RichBitch JerkAss who really takes far too much pleasure one-upping Peter and while she might be a bit of a Starscream to her mother, her real intentions are to modernise how London (and the rest of the UK) deals with magic, get everything systematised and above board, and do away with the tangles of "arrangements" and "agreements" that have accumulated over the years. Something that Peter himself is pretty keen on, she just goes about it all in a really arsehole-ish ways.
* TheVoiceless: Molly.
* VomitingCop: Subverted in-Verse in book four, when Peter hurriedly steps away from a shotgun-blasted corpse with his hand over his mouth. The other police assume it's this trope, but he's actually suppressing ''giggles'' because the body's condition tempted him to make a tasteless crack about zombies.
* WasntThatFun: The youngest child of the German tourist family wants to get washed out of the burning store by Beverly's called-up waters again.
* WatchThePaintJob: That detailed description of how cool Beverly's new car is? You knew it would end up in this trope. Rioters 1: Car 0.
* WeaselCoWorker: Investigations have to be paid for. Which means that police try to dump them on other departments.
* WhatAnIdiot: An In-Universe example when Dr Walid cooks up the fast acting sedative he also gives Peter a card for paramedics to read in case he stabs himself:
-->"'''Warning''': I have been stupid enough to stab myself with etorphine hydrochloride."
* WizardingSchool: Casterbrook - the school where Nightingale learned magic - ''used'' to be one of these. After WWII there just weren't enough people left for it to be useful though.
* WizardsLiveLonger: [[spoiler:Nightingale]] certainly does, but he seems to be something of an exception.
* WhamLine: The very last line of ''Soho''. [[spoiler: "Fuck me, you can do magic."]]
** Also a CallBack, as [[spoiler: that's almost exactly what Peter said when ''he'' cast his first werelight, too.]]
* WholePlotReference: The first book, of [[spoiler:Punch And Judy]]. It's both deliberately invoked and extremely plot-relevant.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Given by Peter to Tyburn in response to her ReasonYouSuckSpeech, utterly owning her in front of her entire family including Mama Thames herself.
* TheXOfY: Book one, in the UK at least, ''Rivers of London''.
* YellowPeril: One of Nightingale's predecessors at the Folly led the bust of a reputed Chinese sorcerer and white slaver in 1911. A subversion, as it turned out the sorcerer was a Canadian white guy operating under a Chinese name.
* YouDoNOTWantToKnow: Whatever it was Nightingale found in that room during ''Soho'', Peter decides he really doesn't. All we know is that the people who exhume mass graves in Rwanda and Kosovo need to be called to process it and some of what they find is not dead (yet).
* YourHeadAsplode: Happens to one of the Hare Krishnas.
[[/folder]]
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