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Book 223: The Carnival Master by Craig Russell

Book 223: The Carnival Master (Jan Fabel #4) .
Author: Craig Russell, 2008.
Genre: Euro Crime Fiction. Police Procedural.
Other Details: Paperback. 448 pages.

The Cologne police know a woman is going to die. They know the day it will happen. And they're powerless to stop it. They call on an outside expert: Jan Fabel, head of Hamburg's Murder Squad and Germany's leading authority on serial killers. Fabel is on the point of leaving the police for good, but Carnival in Cologne is a time when the world goes crazy, and he is drawn into the hunt for the Carnival Cannibal. What he doesn't know is that he is on a collision course with a crack special forces unit from Ukraine and a disturbed colleague with a score to settle. Fabel finds himself on a trail of betrayal and vengeance, violence and death. And once more he faces his greatest enemy. The true Master of the Carnival. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

Another in this highly engaging series of police procedurals based in Germany. Although I enjoyed it very much I did wonder if the narrative was a little too divided between the Carnival murders and the quest on the part of the special forces group, Fabel's colleague and finally Fabel himself to bring to ground Vasyl Vitrenko, the Ukrainian baddie who has been Fabel's nemeses since the first novel in the series.

Still by the final pages both plot strands were brought to a satisfying conclusion with some very clever twists. Craig Russell also did a great job of capturing the world-turned-upside-down atmosphere of Cologne's Carnival. Some aspects of the murders are quite gruesome and did nothing to assuage my Coulrophobia.
Tags: crime fiction, police drama, sexual violence
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