3 May 2017

Review: The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell

Genre: Crime
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


My Review
I've never read a crime thriller before. I love watching them on TV, but I've never actually picked one up and read one, until The Blood Detective, that is.
Just like crime TV shows do, it did have me on the edge of my seat for much of the story but there were a few parts that I felt were a little slow, a little too 'in-depth' but perhaps that's what crime thrillers are usually like. However, having said that, I did enjoy it. I read it over a period of several days, taking in so many pages a night before I turned the light out and went to sleep. Surprisingly, I didn't have nightmares (naturally, there are a few gruesome scenes).
The story was quite unique, the plot being about a serial murderer set within the world of genealogy - an aspect I did find particularly intriguing considering I am a fan of the Who Do You Think You Are TV series.
The pace of the story moved consistently, with a few 'slower parts' that I mentioned above. The characters were relatable, although admittedly I kept getting a little confused as to who was who in the beginning. I would have liked to read a little more about the relationships between some of the characters but perhaps that's just me and my love for chick lit lol! I really loved the book cover too.
All in all, a good read that has encouraged me to delve more into crime thrillers in the future.

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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