Am having the same difficulties with Broken Homes that I had with Whispers Underground. I can't see the scene Aaronovitch is describing (the housing estate in this case rather than railway cuttings) and the police acronyms are meaningless to me and hence confusing. Also some new ones: there are too many people with watercolour names, so I can't actually remember what the Whichever case involves. (Should note that the two people in the opening traffic accident actually have Germanic names, but I still can't remember which one is the possible Little Crocodile and which isn't.) And very much, unlike in my youth, common terms in modern England mean nothing to me at all. It's a major point that the estate isn't delisted, but I have to google listing to find out why. I understand why the police argot is a closed book to me, but I feel a little forlorn that something that does exist over here should feel so foreign.
The joy of Aaronovitch though is that, just as one begins to think this is going to be an intense and rather dull exercise in police plod (I mean, the police plod is a *good* thing in Aaronovitch: lends versimilitude that other fantasy writers don't even try for: but it's still dull) he pulls something like mh that exchange between Oberon and Nightingale that's just my heavens where did that come from? (and even more, what will it turn into? Hello Chekov's gun.)