The Follypedia Wiki

“ I gave the prescribed Metropolitan Police "first greeting".
"Oi!" I said "What do you think you're doing?”

― Peter Grant, Rivers of London

Peter Grant is the protagonist of the Rivers of London series. He is a mixed race detective constable with the London Metropolitan Police as well as an apprentice wizard. He is 25 years old at the start of series, and approximately 28 year old in False Value[1] By members of the magical community and the demi-monde he is sometimes referred to as 'the Starling', 'Nightingale's Starling' or less often 'Herald of the Morning'[2], 'Herald of the Dawn' or 'harbinger of the new world'[3]. He has self-described his own appearance using the police jargon "between IC3 (Black) and IC6 (Arab)".


Peter has a very positive albeit slightly wry outlook on life. He is curious and innovative, but very easily distracted, sometimes by magical vestigia, more frequently by beautiful women. Though his decisions may be occasionally rash, they are always well-intended and he has an earnest desire to protect innocents. He has been described as a "cheeky bugger".

Early life and family[]

Peter Grant was born at the University College Hospital, London, to Richard 'Lord' Grant and his wife Rose, a Fula, from Sierra Leone, circa 1987. He was raised in the Peckwater Estate, off Leighton Road in Kentish Town.[4] He has stated on multiple occasions that LEGO was his favourite toy as a child.[5] When he was younger he harbored romantic dreams of emigrating to South Africa.[6]


Although never fully elaborated on, Peter has suggested his childhood was not idyllic. He ran away from home twice when young, although he returned on his own on both occasions.[5] During an interview with Zoe Thomas he gives his reason for running away as his father's heroin addiction.[5] Peter has also referenced a past 'family lean patch' meaning there were financial difficulties as well.[7]


Before joining the police, he was planning to study architecture, but gave up because his draftmanship was awful.[4]

Previous Jobs[]

At one point, he worked in a coffee kiosk which was "a bastard to work in".[6]

He has worked in Tesco, small retail stores and for a cleaning company.[8]

He has several cousins: Abigail Kamara[9] and Obe (an electrician?).[7] Peter also has an uncle named Tito[10], an aunt named Jo[9], three aunts called Kadi on this mothers side, an aunt Ayesah and, on his father's side, an aunt called Bob.[2]

Police Career[]

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

Rivers of London[]

After finishing his training at Hendon Police College, Peter joins the Charing Cross police station, Westminster, for a two year period as a probationary constable, together with fellow probationer, Lesley May.

After his probationary period ends, Peter is initially assigned to the Case Progression Unit (CPU). Following a meeting with Nicholas Wallpenny he instead joins a specialised unit of Economic and Special Crime, based at the Folly, at the request of DCI Thomas Nightingale. As part of his new duties he is tasked with resolving the feud between the God and the Godess of the river Thames, during which he meets Beverley Brook.

Moon over Soho[]

Peter Grant meets and has a relationship with Simone Fitzwilliam.

Whispers Underground[]

A murder in an Underground tunnel shows Peter Grant a side of London he has never seen before. Also brings Peter in contact with the FBI.

Broken Homes[]

What's up with Skygarden Tower?

Foxglove Summer[]

The search for two missing girls takes Peter all the way out to rural Herefordshire. Assisted by Beverley Brook, he comes into conflict with some of the Fair folk.

The Hanging Tree[]

[11] After a drug-related death among some wayward youth, Lady Ty asks Peter a favour.

Detective Stories[]

Peter passes his examination and is made a Detective Constable.

Lies Sleeping[]

[2] Peter is tricked into a police car and captured by Lesley and Martin. He is held in a magic proof bubble created by Foxglove, who lives in the bubble with him. He builds a bond with her when she draws him and he listens to her story. Eventually, she lifts him out of the prison and frees him because Peter promises to take her to an old friend (Molly). After a standoff underground, during which Lesley shoots DI Stephanopoulous in the leg, Peter surprises Lesley and Martin Chorley installing the third drinking bell in the Actor’s Church. He throws himself at Martin and they both fall off the church tower. Peter restrains Chorley, but Lesley shoots Chorley in the head for not killing Punch. After Lesley kills Martin Chorley, Peter lies down in defeat and exhaustion and is subsequently suspended from duty. He finds out that Beverley is pregnant with his child.

The Fey and the Furious[]

Peter once again comes into conflict with Fair folk, but also makes new acquaintances with representatives from both the NCA and the AIVD.

False Value[]

[8] Peter returns from suspension. He is tasked to work undercover in Terrence Skinner’s� company, the Serious Cybernetics Corporation, because his suspension provides a good cover, and because Alona Silver has no Falcon qualified undercover agents. 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.

Undocumented events[]

Krynoid bush Kew

A suspiciously Krynoid-shaped bush in Kew Gardens.

  • An event at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew.[11] Taking place before the summer of 2012.[12]
  • Harold Postmartin once covered Peter in pesticide, and Peter wrestled a tree.[13]
  • "The thing with the police horse which [he] promised never to bring up on pain of ninjutsu"[11]
  • An encounter with a woman while clubbing who may have been the goddess of the River Rom.[7]
  • He once encountered the ghost of female Oxford professor in the tunnels under Kew Gardens.[6]
  • "The thing with the dwarf, the show girl and the fur coat"[9]. Though this may well be the incident described in Peter Grant's blogspot.[14]


Tumblr o54qz5K4S41r6iszmo1 250

In Whispers Underground Peter receives a winding black and silver Omega watch from Thomas Nightingale as a Christmas gift.[15]

Although he only earned a 'C' grade on his Chemistry A-levels, Peter has an excellent understanding of the scientific method.[10] Because of this he is often frustrated by unquantified or poorly defined magical entities and phenomenon. Peter has personally invented or re-discovered multiple modern measures for detective work that also deals with magic. Some of these experiments include:

  • Invention of the Yap scale
  • Experiments determining whether magic damages transistors and thermionic valves.[11]
  • The approximate distance another practitioner can sense a spell being formed.[11]
  • What materials retain vestigium the longest.[7]
  • How to sacrifice electronics (e.g. cell phones) in place of animals for spells.[10]
  • How to tap into the potential energy of an electronic device for magical purposes.[11]
  • Timing the length of a spell's effect.[9]

Magical Education[]

Inspector Nightingale has occasionally expressed irritation over Peter Grant's ability to be side-tracked by scientific details and has, at times, admonished him for spending time on experiments rather than working on advancing his magical learning.[7] At other moments, Nightingale has expressed admiration for Peter's quick thinking and creativity in his use of magical forms; in particular, after Peter faces off with the Faceless Man during Moon Over Soho.[11]

Peter is the first officially sanctioned practitioner since 1945, and therefore did not receive the standard pre-WWII training regime that started during primary school. Because of this it is often hard to measure his magical aptitude as a practitioner. In Broken Homes Nightingale admits that he would not have been able to detect specific signare when he was at Peter's level of apprenticeship, but follows this by saying, 'I was only 12 at the time and easily distracted'.[7]

As of Lies Sleeping Peter's abilities include first through third order spells and some fourth order spells such as shields and magnification.

Other Skills[]

Peter seems to have picked up a broad range of non-magical skills from friends and family. In particular he has a professional knowledge about industrial and residential cleaning, and is familiar with the dust and build-up accompanying this job. This skill originated with his mother, Rose Grant, who works as a cleaner.[10] During Peter's teenage years he often assisted her with cleaning jobs where he developed this skill.[9][2]

He has a solid understanding of the scientific method, electronics, computer systems, and a deeper knowledge of music (especially jazz), architecture, and police procedures.


During the course of the series his Latin language skills readily improve with his spell work, although he admits his Greek is not particularly good.[2] He speaks English and at least understands Krio (a Creole language in Sierra Leone).[7] He learnt German in school, but only speaks a few words.[10]



Beverley Brook[]

Peter is currently in a long term relationship with Beverley Brook. Although they were initially attracted to each other, their relationship did not begin until she began assisting Peter in the investigation described in Foxglove Summer. As of Lies Sleeping, they are expecting their first child.[2] (Later confirmed to be twin girls,[8] named Taiwo and Kehinde.[16])

Past Relationships[]




Peter Grant has been portrayed by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith in the audiobook version of the books, and by Doc Brown (Ben Bailey Smith) at a reading of the short story King of the Rats in 2015.