The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Blood Detective is a British police murder mystery with a genealogy theme, set in London.
Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster is called to the crime scene of a gruesome murder. The victim had been stabbed through the heart and had his hands severed. During the autopsy a mark on the victim’s chest appeared to be a genealogy search reference number. The police call in Nigel Barnes, genealogist, to help trawl through ancestry data in search of clues.
Barnes uncovers historical evidence in old newspapers of a triple murder trail which mirrors today’s victims, as body number three is found. With the media demanding answers, a suspect is arrested, but Foster believes they have the wrong man, as Barnes digs deeper into the case and the clock counts down for the next victim.
This was a well written and thought out plot. I enjoyed reading about the places you can search for ancestry information, such as the National Archives, the Family Records Centre and the London Metropolitan Archives. The story had plenty of twists and turns to keep it flowing well and I didn’t guess the ending, which was an added bonus. The only downside was that my copy of the book had several glaring typos, particularly towards the end; I would suggest the author gets these corrected for the benefit of future readers.
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Release Date: 28/02/2017
Nominated for the CWA New Blood Dagger in the UK and Macavity First Book award in the USA, and winner of the Prix Cezam Littéraire.
As dawn breaks over London, the body of a young man is discovered in a Notting Hill churchyard. The killer has left DCI Grant Foster and his team a grisly, cryptic clue. It’s not until the clue is handed to Nigel Barnes, a specialist in compiling family trees, that the full message becomes spine-chillingly clear. It leads Barnes back more than one hundred years – to the victim of a demented Victorian serial killer. When a second body is discovered Foster needs Barnes’s skills more than ever. The murderer’s clues appear to run along the tangled bloodlines that lie between 1879 and now. And if Barnes is right, the killing spree has only just begun
The Blood Detective is a haunting crime novel of blood-stained family histories and gruesome secrets.
‘Expertly plotted and with great attention to detail, this is the start of a series that has already put down substantial roots of its own’ – Mark Billingham.
‘A fascinating and original investigation into the dark roots of our family trees’ – Val McDermid
‘There’s panache aplenty in this intriguing tale. Sharp plotting, elegant writing, engaging characters, a cracking climax. A series is promised. Bring it on!’ Reginald Hill
ABOUT DAN WADDELL
Dan Waddell is the award-winning author of more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, among them the bestselling book which accompanied the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? His first crime novel, the critically-acclaimed The Blood Detective, won the prestigious Prix Cezam Littéraire in France and was nominated for debut awards in the UK and USA. He lives in London with his family.
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