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Belshazzar's Daughter (Inspector Ikmen Mystery 1)


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This fantastic debut novel by Barbara Nadel is compellingly atmospheric and has been highly praised: 'Exciting, accomplished and original' Literary Review

About the Author

Barbara Nadel is a public relations officer for the National Schizophrenia Fellowship and as such has great deal of knowledge of the mentally disordered. Born in the East End of London, she trained as an actress and regularly visits her family in Turkey.


British author Nadel's deep passion for Turkish culture and her intimate knowledge of that land come through vividly in this riveting crime drama set in present-day Istanbul, but with roots in two of the last century's epic bloodbaths. Police Inspector Aetin Ikmen, alcoholic, chain-smoking, but somehow endearing, looks into the brutal murder and disfigurement of an aged Jewish immigrant that appears to have neo-Nazi implications. With his youthful colleague Mehmet Suleyman in tow, Ikmen leads us through the back alleys, brothels and barrooms of the city's roughest neighborhoods in an absorbing investigation that involves suspects of many nationalities and mental states, each suffering from a different form of madness or obsession. Midway through their complicated inquiry, Ikmen declares that the case is like reconstructing "a shattered mirror" whose pieces have flown off in many different directions. With rapid scene shifts and a constantly changing cast of characters, that mirror is gradually pieced back together to provide a glimpse of the gory end of the tsarist regime in Russia nearly a century ago, and the ongoing terrors of those who survived the carnage only to relive it in their minds. Stunning final twists in this disturbing tale suggest that history's cycles of violence and evil will continue unabated. (Dec. 15) FYI: This is the author's first book to be published in the U.S. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

'Intriguing, exotic whodunnit... Local colour judiciously applied and ethnic differences skilfully explored. A first novel: exciting, accomplished and original' Literary Review 'An unusual and very well written first novel...Although the murder mystery is intriguing, it is the characters who make this book so successful' Sunday Telegraph 'Ikmen will go far...will have you looking over your shoulder' Scotsman Belshazzar's Daughter has been chosen by Jane Jakeman in Saturday's INDEPENDENT weekend review section as 'Best crime fiction by a new writer...a great blooming baroque plot (ditto talent).' 'This is an extraordinarily interesting first novel: the idea which drives its plot is an intriguing one; the Istanbul background is richly and thickly layered; the diverse cast of characters exhibits most of the psychoses known to man: while Cetin Ikmen is a detective one hopes to see more of' TJ Binyon, Evening Standard 'It's really refreshing to encounter something as idiosyncratic and evocative among debut novels as Barbara Nadel's Istanbul-set thriller BELSHAZZAR'S DAUGHTER, which matches a multi-layer description of its locale with an equally complex plot' The Times T 'Best crime fiction of the year by a new writer was Barbara Nadel's Belshazzar's Daughter... great blooming baroque plot (ditto talent)' -- Independent 'This is an extraordinarily interesting first novel' -- Evening Standard 'Really refreshing to encounter something as idiosyncratic and evocative among debut novels as Barbara Nadel's Istanbul-set thriller' -- The Times 'Unusual and very well-written' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Will have you looking over your shoulder' -- Scotsman 'What sets this book apart from most crime fiction is the sharply observed portraits set in the cultural confusion of Istanbul's sombre ghettos. An accomplished debut from an exciting new writer' -- Buzz 'Nadel presents a fully fledged psychological understanding worthy of the best in the genre, and her plotting is satisfactorily labyrinthine' -- North London Weekly Herald 19991001 'Intriguing, exotic...exciting, accomplished and original' -- Literary Review 19991001

The mutilation murder of an aged Jew in a run-down quarter of 1990s Istanbul horrifies the Jewish community and affects outsiders as well. The case goes to Inspector Cetin Ikmen, a very astute brandy swiller and chain smoker, who is soon tracking down an American teacher named Robert seen in the area. The teacher is not connected, but his beautiful but mysterious girlfriend may be, and Robert wastes no time in shielding her. Fast-moving prose lends credence to atmospheric descriptions, pervasive cultural interactions, and a complicated plot. Fans of mysteries with exotic settings will enjoy this energetic first; for all collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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