The Blood Detective

Dan Waddell, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $24.95 (299p) ISBN 978-0-312-37890-5

In British journalist Waddell's solid fiction debut, a police procedural, Scotland Yard recruits genealogist Nigel Barnes to assist in solving a grisly series of murders in London. The victims vary in gender, age and means of death, but the corpses are all marked with “1A137.” Barnes determines that the number refers to the death certificate of Albert Beck, an 1879 murder victim who was stabbed to death in a churchyard on the same date as one of the modern victims. Digging deeper, Barnes discovers that Beck was one of five victims attributed to the so-called Kensington Killer and that Eke Fairbairn was tried and executed for the crimes. Evidence suggests that Fairbairn was wrongfully convicted and that a distant descendant is taking revenge on the relatives of those involved in the 19th-century prosecution. Waddell's adept characterization and pacing make for an exciting start to a new series, though some readers may find the coincidence at the denouement too improbable. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/07/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-102565-0
Hardcover - 437 pages - 978-1-4104-1092-4
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-8878-0
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