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False Value is the 8th novel in the Rivers of London series. It was originally planned to be published in the autumn of 2019 [1], but was delayed until early 2020. An excerpt was published in late December, 2019.[2]

The book is set in the UK.[1]

The Waterstone’s Special Edition contains the short story “A Dedicated Follower of Fashion”.

Plot summary[3][]

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner's brand new London start up—the Serious Cybernetics Corporation.[2]

Drawn into the orbit of Old Street's famous 'silicon roundabout', Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant's favourite son.

Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological—and just as dangerous.

131px-ENG COA Newton.svg Cave pericula secunda!
The following sections may contain spoilers for all novels and comics.

Peter goes undercover as security in the Serious Cybernetics Corporation. Terrence Skinner reportedly has the Mary Engine created by Ada Lovelace as the first computer. He meets Jacob Astor who has been sent to secure the Engine by the Librarians from New York. Between them, they decide to break into the secure zone off the SCC. He saves Skinner’s life when William Lloyd tries to kill him, and then investigates Lloyd’s workspace in the restricted zone of the SCC building. He protects Stephen and Patricia Chin when drones attack the building they are in. Later, at the SCC, Terrence Skinner shows Peter Deep Thought, the AI programme that the company has developed in the secure zone.

Kimberly Reynolds calls Peter through official channels and gets the FBI involved in the Skinner case. She has found evidence of his involvement in a previous Falcon case including the Mary Engine. With Stephen and Patricia, Peter breaks into the SCC in order to gain access to the Mary Engine. Chin and Stephen turn on Peter, but he manages to summon Nightingale with a screamer. Nightingale and Chin duel, while Peter duels Stephen. Nightingale eventually wins the duel and restrains Patricia Chin, but not before she destroys the Mary Engine.

Stephen and Patricia are restrained in the magic-proof cells at the Folly. However, due to the lack of vestigia on the destroyed Mary Engine, Peter and Nightingale realise that it is a fake, and Skinner still has the real one somewhere else.

List of returning characters[]

List of characters introduced in this story[]