Peter Grant is at the end of his probationary period as a London cop, but instead of getting on the detective track, his distractability and curiosity puts him next in line to be a paper pusher. Luckily, it's about this time he discovers he can see ghosts, and he's rapidly snatched up by Inspector Nightingale, the only magician on the force. Now instead of filling out paperwork he's running around London trying to stop a killer who uses the supernatural to incite violence.
Peter Grant is a great main character, well crafted and already showing a lot of depth. The magic systems are intriguing--there's a whole subplot about the personifications of the Thames getting into fights, and another subplot in which Peter applies the scientific method to magic, to everyone's bemusement. The main plot is scary, macabre, and a bit weird. Just what I like to see in urban fantasy! And perhaps best of all, this book is seriously funny. Not in a way that distracts from the plot or characters, but in a way that shows them off.