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The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell
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The Blood Detective (edition 2008)

by Dan Waddell

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1771867,448 (3.64)30
Member:AnglersRest
Title:The Blood Detective
Authors:Dan Waddell
Info:Penguin (2008), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Genealogy, History, Fiction

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The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
summer-2013, debut, tbr-busting-2013
Read in August, 2013

The Blood Detective (Nigel Barnes #1)

pub 2007
myst> audio> rosado
summer 2013> tbr busting 2013
brit> eng> london> labroke grove
first in series AND debut novel

Copycat killings of victorian crimes. Interesting geneological murder mystery. This series has great potential
3*
3 likes ( )
  mimal | Aug 26, 2013 |
Although a tad slow starting, this is a fascinating book weaving two sets of murders, one from 1879 and one from today, together into one fascinating mystery. The premise is that a set of murders in 1879 are being "mimiced" in 2008, with a twist. The other part of the book that is fascinating is that the police are using a genealogist to solve the murder. He is doing the research on the 1879 murders for them, trying to figure out how the two are tied together. The next book in the series isn't scheduled for release until summer 2009, and I can't wait. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
Among the mutilations found on body in London is an alpha-numeric sequence scratched into the person’s chest. One of the police assigned to the case, Heather Jenkins, recognises it as a reference to a birth, death or marriage certificate and suggests the police contact family historian Nigel Barnes for help. As more bodies are found with the same reference number carved into their skin Barnes helps the police to identify the relationship of the current crop of crimes to ones that took place over 100 years earlier.

I enjoyed the way this story developed up to a certain point, especially the incorporation of the relationship between the historical elements and the current crime. The depiction of Barnes’ research was accurate for the circumstances (having worked as an archivist in similar institutions to those depicted here for a number of years I feel qualified to comment) and the linking of his discoveries to historic parts of London was well done. I have to say though that I groaned audibly at a specific twist incorporated towards the end of the novel. To say more would give away a rather massive plot point but it’s a very well-worn cliché in crime fiction and was neither necessary to build tension nor particularly credible in this instance. This did spoil the ending a little for me but as the rest of the story was engaging and well-written I’ll be forgiving of a debut novelist’s eagerness to pack in the tension.

Nigel Barnes is in an interesting, likable character with some personal history of his own that is revealed over the course of the novel. His love/hate relationship with genealogy made me laugh at its realism (it was the genealogists who made me flee from archival institutions) though I enjoyed his passion for pure historical research. The DCI in charge of the case, Grant Foster, is probably less likable to most people though I found his cynicism and world-weariness understandable and at times downright lovable but I admit I’m a bit odd that way.

Police procedurals are not exactly a rare thing in crime fiction so it is not surprising that authors are always looking for a new spin on the theme and I found this one more engaging than many such twists. I’m not sure how it will play out across a long running series though if the author is prepared to consider mysteries without murders there might be a reasonable scope for a decent bunch of stories and I enjoyed the pace, humour and history of this one well enough to be keen to track down the second book in the series. ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
Certainly an interesting read, with fascinating information on genealogical research, but as a mystery a bit predictable in places. Entertaining though. ( )
  Trialia | Mar 30, 2013 |
I saw a review of this book several months ago in a genealogical magazine, it appealed to my genealogical mind and once it had arrived from Amazon, did not sit unread in my study for long. Written by the man who wrote the Who Do you think you are series, this obviously links into real genealogical sources.

The story is centered around a chief inspector who is required to investigate a murder. The evidence does not seem to add up, and before long the inspector and his team are taping into the knowledge of a genealogist who discovers that the current series of murders are linked back to a series of Victorian murders. The genealogist spends lots of time looking into one of the most under used sources there are...newspapers, and sadly discovers that the man, who was tried by the victorian court was not guilty, so is this a crime of retribution?........

Original review September 2008 ( )
  AnglersRest | Feb 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This is the French version of the Blood Detective
added by ElderMage | editAmazon (Mar 18, 2012)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312378904, Hardcover)

When the naked, mutilated body of a man is found in a Notting Hill graveyard and the police investigation led by Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster and his colleague Detective Superintendent Heather Jenkins yields few results, a closer look at the corpse reveals  that what looked at first glance like superficial knife wounds on the victim’s chest is actually a string of carved letters and numbers, an index number referring to a file in city archives containing birth and death certificates and marriage licenses. Family historian Nigel Barnes is put on the case. As one after another victim is found in various locations all over London, each with a different mutilation but the same index number carved into their skin, Barnes and the police work frantically to figure out how the corresponding files are connected. With no clues to be found in the present, Barnes must now search the archives of the past to solve the mystery behind a string of 100-year-old murders. Only then will it be possible to stop the present series of gruesome killings, but will they be able to do so before the killer ensnares his next victim? Barnes, Foster, and Jenkins enter a race against time – and before the end of the investigation, one of them will get much too close for comfort.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"When the naked, mutilated body of a man is found in a Notting Hill graveyard and the police investigation led by Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster and his colleague Detective Superintendent Heather Jenkins yields few results, a closer look at the corpse reveals that what looked at first glance like superficial knife wounds on the victim's chest is actually a string of carved letters and numbers, an index number referring to a file in city archives containing birth and death certificates and marriage licenses. Family historian Nigel Barnes is put on the case."… (more)

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