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Books 174-175: Blood Eagle and The Cadaver Game

Book 174: Blood Eagle (Jan Fabel #1).
Author: Craig Russell, 2005.
Genre: Police procedural. Euro crime.
Other Details: Paperback. 496 pages.

Two women are killed in the same horrific, ritualistic manner. The murderer taunts the police with e-mails. It seems clear that a serial killer is at work, selecting victims at random and living out some twisted fantasy. But, as Jan Fabel and his murder team investigate further, nothing is as it first seems. They are drawn into a dark half-world of Viking myth and legend, of obscure religious cults, of political intrigue and of a violent struggle to seize control of the city. And as Fabel desperately races to track down the killer before more killings take place, he and his team come face to face with a cold, brutal menace they could never have predicted. A greater evil than they could ever have imagined. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

Not one for the faint-hearted, this proved a dark and grizzly police procedural set in Hamburg Germany and it had me on the edge of my seat for the duration. I also enjoyed the mythological element and was pleased to read that this is an ongoing theme in the series. Russell does a great job of capturing his German setting and I was interested to read that he received an award from the Hamburg police for his depiction of their service, the only non-German to do so. .

Extract from 'Blood Eagle' - from author's website.

Book 175: The Cadaver Game(Wesley Peterson #16) .
Author: Kate Ellis, 2012.
Genre: Crime Thriller. Police Procedural. Historical and Contemporary Murder Mystery.
Other Details: Paperback. 384 pages.

When the decaying body of a murdered women is discovered in a suburban house, DI Wesley Peterson has problems establishing her identity. But as he digs deeper, he has another more disturbing case to investigate - the naked bodies of two teenagers have been found with gunshot wounds at the foot of a cliff. Both cases become stranger when Wesley realises they are linked to a sinister manhunt, mirroring events from the Napoleonic Wars. Why did the teenage victims take part in an on-line game called 'Blood Hunt', which they were eventually persuaded to play for real? Then a skeleton is found near the place where the teenagers were last seen alive and Wesley finally has to face a terrible truth...and a hunt to the death - synopsis from author's website.

Another intriguing mystery combining past and present murder mysteries set in South Devon. The chilling premise of the Blood Hunt felt as though it actually could happen: a dangerous form of LARPing. My only quibble was that there was very little character development for Wesley and his colleagues. I now only have one more book in this series to read though I have plenty of other series of crime thrillers to keep me happy.
Tags: crime fiction, murder mystery, myth and legend, police drama
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