Still plugging the wait between Rivers of London novels, Night Witch is the second graphic novel from Titan Books, collecting the five monthly issues originally published in 2016. Written and illustrated by the same team – creator and writer Ben Aaronovitch, co-writer Andrew Cartmel and artist Lee Sullivan – we found the first collection to be enjoyable but understandably slighter than the novels. Night Witch, however, is much deeper and darker.
Briefly, for the uninitiated, PC Peter Grant is a wizard in the London Metropolitan Police, who along with his boss Thomas Nightingale, uses his magic knowledge as an extra weapon in the fight against crime. In Night Witch, the daughter of a Russian billionaire businessman disappears from her back garden, and, believing supernatural powers to be responsible, he turns to Varvara Tamonina – once a member of a mysterious special regiment in the Second World War colloquially known as the Night Witches.
Perhaps the real strength this collection has over the first is that the protagonists are all real people – no mere haunting and possession this time around. The characters are interesting, they have depth, and their motivations feel real. All in all, it’s a cracking read feeling more polished than the first. There’s more story, and it goes without saying that Sullivan’s art is as crisp and solid as ever.
Like the first collection, this isn’t the ideal starting point for your Rivers Of London reading journey but for fans there’s a deliciously intriguing final panel that sets up the next instalment.