Blood Eagle Craig Russell
The Crime and Mystery Magazine
Reviewed by Ayo Onatade
novel Blood Eagle, is the first in a series set in Hamburg, and
introduces the reader to Hauptkommissar Jan Fabel of the Hamburg
murder squad who is very much a loner. He is inaccurately nicknamed
der englische Kommissar (the English Detective) by his colleagues
due to his heritage - his mother is Scottish; his father Frisian
and part of his education took place in the UK.
Told in four
parts and as a daily log interspersed with a time line as well,
the story starts with the discovery of a rather gruesome ritualistic
killing followed by an e-mail sent by the killer to Fabel taunting
him and promising many more. The killings are religiously motivated.
Not only does Fabel have a serial killer to catch but he also has
to deal with a gang warfare that is about to explode between the
immigrant Turks and Ukrainians gangs who are competing for the lucrative
prostitution market. There is layer upon layer of intrigue, which
builds into a tremendous dénouement that is without doubt
worth waiting for.
This is no tame
police procedural. Blood Eagle is a highly tense, taut debut novel
with the same intensity one has come to expect from such authors
as Val McDermid, Karin Slaughter, and Mo Hayder. Compelling and
sinister it is exceptionally well written and crafted with sharply
drawn characters and strong plotting with a sense of place that
makes you feel as if you are walking along the streets of Hamburg.
Furthermore, it is gripping, gritty, and mesmerising and an atmospheric
page-turner of the highest degree.
is one of the best novels I have read in a long time and Craig Russell
is certainly not letting the side down. He is a most welcome addition
to the list of other luminary Scottish crime writers that grace
us with their excellent work. I await Brother Grimm with bated breath
and blatant longing.
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