My rating: 5 of 5 stars
AK Benedict is purported to be the next Ben Aaronovitch and the publishers seem to be encouraging this (obviously) with a book cover rather similar to the Rivers of London books (the audiobook cover anyway – not pictured here). I can definitely see the similarity (beyond the book covers), although actually I think The Beauty of Murder is actually a bit deeper. The Beauty of Murder is about a newly arrived Cambridge academic, Stephen Killigan, who discovers a body which then disappears. Killigan studies metaphysics, so in the chapters from his viewpoint expect lots of deep thinking but his character does have a rather nice way with words. The villain of the piece though is much less well rounded and he veers very close to pantomime villain territory. The villain’s sidekick is not much better. I did like the policewoman character, Jane, though and she goes through an interesting side story.
I really liked the premise behind the story (it’s one of those fantastical ideas you’d really wish was actually true) and the ending was written in a way that you could definitely imagine some more stories with these characters, so I hope there will be. It’s a little worrying that Benedict’s next book (which I’ll definitely be reading soon), seems to feature completely different characters, so more Killigan please!