14th Aug2018

‘Rivers of London: Water Weed #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Andrew Cartmel | Art by Lee Sullivan | Published by Titan Comics


Several story arcs in, and I finally bit the bullet and started to read the Rivers of London novels alongside the comics. Though, funnily enough, I actually like the comics more (at this stage of course, several more books to go may change my mind), the same great dialogue and unique blend of humour maintain a nice synergy between the two mediums. I think the whole concept, and world, lend themselves very well visually, so maybe comics or even TV and film may prove to be Rivers natural home. It also reinforced to me just what a great handle Andrew Cartmel has on these characters, even without creator Ben Aaronovitch alongside.

Last issue of course was taking up with the mystery of the woman with the interesting facial tattoos selling weed on the Thames. Not any old weed, but a magical variety that has a strange effect on magical beings or users. Peter and Beverley both put their skills to work, and Beverley found a female goblin who promised to reveal the woman’s identity in return for some money. We learn the lady is called The Hoodette, the drug is werelight weed, and both can be found in a location in Teddington. Hard to know which one is more dangerous.

The first ten pages deal out a whole lot of exposition, telling us a bit more about the network The Hoodette operates, her odd couple relationship with her middle aged houseboat residing accountant, and her extreme irritation with the fact her network has been seriously compromised by Peter and Beverley. Most importantly, we learn that she does indeed use werelight magic to grow the weed. Peter and Nightingale decide to revisit their goblin lady informant, still in hospital after being shanked by Hoodette. Or at least she should be, but she has managed to disappear. Goblin girls heal fast it seems.

Peter’s last real lead is following up with low level drug dealer Reuel McBeene-Smith, a not particularly liked acquaintance of Beverley’s. Peter doesn’t know yet Reuel has had the misfortune of looking a bit too closely into the weeds origin, and The Hoodette has him on her radar too. Peter locates him but gets very little joy, The Hoodette locates him and, slightly unexpectedly, gets a lot more out of him. Think bodily fluids. Nope, not blood, the other bodily fluids. Naughty girl. One shag later, she sends a text message to Peter and Nightingale, setting them up for a meet.

Peter and Nightingale arrive at magical watering hole The Chestnut Tree, to find it mysteriously empty. Actually, no mystery about it, everyone legged it when they saw the law arrive. Magic or otherwise, some things are constant. While Peter and Nightingale wait for Lana Blanding, the goblin lady, to show, Peter receives a phone call from said lady. She lets Peter know she never texted them, in fact Hoodette has her phone. Well, Peter and Nightingale know what a trap looks like, and two of Hoodette’s goons show up with shotguns. Not even close. Now, though, Peter and Nightingale have just about had enough of Hoodette’s games, and are going to end it. Which is handy, as next issue is the last one of the current arc.

Every issue of Rivers of London is just like pulling on a comfortable pair of trousers. You look forward to wearing them, you know exactly what to expect, and they never disappoint. Yet again, such an effortless read. Truth be told, not a ton of stuff happened, but it was interesting enough seeing a few gaps get filled in along the way. Not so much laugh out loud dialogue either, which was missed, but nice character work all the same. Andrew Cartmel both giveth, and taketh away. Lee Sullivan’s art is its usual solid, dependable self, always conventional and conservative in style, but always serving the best interests of the story.

This book is consistently fun, entertaining, and even thought provoking. Just like London itself

**** 4/5


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