Dan Waddell

The Blood Detective

"'This is a cracking first novel...'"


The year is 1879 and Bertie is on his way home from the pub. However, he is never to reach home as he is murdered in the churchyard of St. Johns church. Bertie is one of several victims in a case that is to become one of the most horrific of its time.

One hundred and twenty-five years later, DCI Grant Foster is called to the church to find the body of a young man. But this time, the body has been bizarrely mutilated – a cryptic clue that leads back in time when a serial killer was terrorising that part of London. Soon, Nigel Barnes, a genealogist is brought onboard to find out who the victims were - and what happened over a century ago.

As the bodies mount Nigel recognises echoes of the earlier investigation. Someone seems to being a copycat killer - 125 years later! It is soon after that Nigel finds another link between the present and the past and that the killer is drawing nearer to the investigating team than any of them could ever have anticipated…

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This is a cracking first novel in a planned series brings together the art of genealogy with history and a present investigation. I have to admit to being a little sceptical of the premise and wasn’t sure if it would work well at all. However, I was very pleasantly surprised and remained glued to the book for the two days it had me in its thrall. The Blood Detective starts with a murder from 1879 and jumps over a century later to a body being found in the same location. From there, Waddell continues at a cracking pace. With Waddell’s obvious knowledge about genealogy, we are taken around the different institutes and given an insider’s know-how on what you can and can’t do. (Nnever lick your fingertips when looking through aged documents - unless you want one of the security guards shouting at you!) Who would have guessed that these two subjects, genealogy and a police investigation could have been brought together and transformed into a great police thriller? The Blood Detective was an excellent read and I believe that many people are going to be picking this one up and not being able to put it down again until the nail-biting finish. The Blood Detective is fast-paced, exhausting and exhilarating. However, it may put some people off tracing their ancestors. Sometimes, it is best not to know...

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