#blogtour – The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell @danwaddell @brookcottagebks #bookreview #giveaway

I love genealogical mysteries and I must confess to having had this book for quite some time but you know, too many books, not enough time and all that. It’s just been republished so being on the blog tour gave me the perfect opportunity to read a book from my TBR pile that I was sure I would like. And I was right. First of all, what is The Blood Detective all about?

Genre: Crime

Release Date: 28/02/2017

Nominated for the CWA New Blood Dagger in the UK and Macavity First Book award in the USA, and winner of the Prix Cezam Littéraire.

As dawn breaks over London, the body of a young man is discovered in a Notting Hill churchyard. The killer has left DCI Grant Foster and his team a grisly, cryptic clue. It’s not until the clue is handed to Nigel Barnes, a specialist in compiling family trees, that the full message becomes spine-chillingly clear. It leads Barnes back more than one hundred years – to the victim of a demented Victorian serial killer. When a second body is discovered Foster needs Barnes’s skills more than ever. The murderer’s clues appear to run along the tangled bloodlines that lie between 1879 and now. And if Barnes is right, the killing spree has only just begun . . .

The Blood Detective is a haunting crime novel of blood-stained family histories and gruesome secrets.

‘Expertly plotted and with great attention to detail, this is the start of a series that has already put down substantial roots of its own’ – Mark Billingham.

‘A fascinating and original investigation into the dark roots of our family trees’ – Val McDermid

‘There’s panache aplenty in this intriguing tale. Sharp plotting, elegant writing, engaging characters, a cracking climax. A series is promised. Bring it on!’ Reginald Hill 

My review

I really enjoy genealogical stories so I thought The Blood Detective might be right up my street and I was correct. In this book we have genealogist, Nigel Barnes, working with the police to try and solve a series of murders. He’s a bit of a loveable geek really – I think one of the police officers, Heather Jenkins, describes him as a walking anachronism. He’s still using a record player, wears tweed jackets and doesn’t like any music from after the year he was born. I thought he was a great character with lots of potential to take further.

This is an exciting and fast paced read as we follow DCI Grant Foster and his team in their desperate race to link the past to the present. I love books where facts are uncovered and I enjoyed reading about Nigel racing around between the Family Records Office, libraries and newspaper archives, and sites in London that are relevant to the story. It was all so exciting (perhaps I’m just a bit of a geek too!).

It’s quite obvious that Dan Waddell knows a lot about genealogy. There’s a huge amount of detail and information. I was fascinated by some of the surnames mentioned, for instance, and the explanations as to how they came about. But make no mistake, this is not a book which is just about listing facts. It’s a page turner of a crime novel, a chase right up to the end to find a murderer.

This is no cosy crime sort of book. It’s actually quite gruesome, much more than I expected, but I thought it was very well done. I loved how the present day murders were linked to something that happened over a hundred years earlier. The two strands come together brilliantly to make this a fantastic read. I already have Blood Atonement, the second in this series, and I’m sure I will like it just as much.

Like the sound of it? Then you can buy it here AMAZON UK   AMAZON US  or you could try and win a copy of the ebook by entering below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Dan Waddell is the award-winning author of more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, among them the bestselling book which accompanied the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? His first crime novel, the critically-acclaimed The Blood Detective, won the prestigious Prix Cezam Littéraire in France and was nominated for debut awards in the UK and USA. He lives in London with his family.



Goodreads Author Page


Author photo: Suzanne Plunkett 2016©


  • I read this book years ago when it was first released and was sad that Dan Waddell only wrote a couple – have you read any of Steve Robinson’s series featuring a genealogist?

    • I saw your review for this one on Amazon, Cleo. Apparently there are a couple more after the first two. The third was only published in French but is going to be republished. I’ve read the first Steve Robinson but, like with most series, I haven’t got round to any more.

  • I like genealogical books too but I haven’t come across too many of them, glad this one made such an impression means I can add it to my pile 🙂

    • I’ve read a few and this was definitely one of my favourites. Thanks for visiting, Raven 🙂

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