Deadly river

Barbara Nadel's Cetin Ikmen mystery series are excellent. River of the Dead is the follow-up to Pretty Dead Things which I reviewed earlier in the year.

It's certainly not the Gothic horror that Pretty dead things was, although there are plenty of larger than life characters. It's a well constructed tale following the pursuit of an escaped prisoner, the attempts to catch him, and the exposure of a drugs ring and route stretching across international borders into Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. At the heart of this is a very human story exposing how criminality and drugs in particular can tear families apart with, in this case, ramifications that will probably stretch into future novels in the series. At times mystical, at times violent, it's a gripping tale. Istanbul and the lesser known rural areas of Turkey are lovingly described, as are the central characters of Cetin Ikmen, his protege Suleyman, and their fellow police officers.

I found it a very sad read, but don't take that to mean that you shouldn't read it - it's a good book, and a great crime novel - in the past Barbara Nadel was often compared to Donna Leon, I now think that she's the better writer.


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