Liz Currently Loves….The Ghosts of Altona by Craig Russell


Publication Date: Available Now from Quercus

Source: Publisher review copy

Jan Fabel is a changed man.
Head of the Polizei Hamburg’s Murder Commission, Fabel has dealt with the dead for nearly two decades, but when a routine enquiry becomes a life-threatening – and life-altering – experience, he finds himself on much closer terms with death than ever before.
Fabel’s first case at the Murder Commission comes back to haunt him: Monika Krone’s body is found at last, fifteen years after she went missing. Monika – ethereally beautiful, intelligent, cruel – was the centre of a group of students obsessed with the gothic. Fabel re-opens the case.

So this series has been running for a while it seems, me I’m late to the party but I really loved this one and am going to slowly work my way through the previous stories – for anyone who, like me, has stupidly let these pass them by, you can start here I had no problem at all reading this cold.

The thing that struck me about The Ghosts of Altona was the beauty of the storytelling, the sheer power of the characterisation and the thought provoking themes that Craig Russell weaves seamlessly into the plot – add to that a descriptive power to the use of language and you have a way above average crime thriller.

In this instalment, main protagonist Fabel is returning to work after a near miss and a life changing experience – the opening pages pack a real punch both emotionally and physically, after which the author allows a step back, a more thoughtful and intense way forward as things start to unfold. When a body is discovered that takes Fabel back to his first case, then more deaths follow, this is page turning stuff –  a truly involving mystery with an  eclectic and absolutely fascinating supporting cast, a really enthralling tale.

Some difficult subjects handled with sensitivity and obviously well researched, all mixed up in the unfolding murder case make for some great moments, Fabel himself is absolutely brilliant, I loved him – so well drawn and I am honestly looking forward to heading back to see who he was before…

For me the parts of the novel that dealt with gothic origin were superb, as were the threads looking at Near Death Experiences – There are many layers to be had here and Craig Russell brings them all together over time in indomitable fashion – clever construction and a real feel for character development means this comes highly recommended from me.

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Happy Reading Folks!


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One Response to Liz Currently Loves….The Ghosts of Altona by Craig Russell

  1. crimeworm says:

    I’m a big fan of his Lennox books, set in 50s Glasgow. I’m looking forward to trying this series as I haven’t read any of them, either. If you haven’t read Lennox – that’s the first in the series – I’d greatly recommend, Liz.

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