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Blood Atonement (Nigel Barnes) Hardcover – August 18, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Waddell's sequel to 2008's The Blood Detective, which introduced Nigel Barnes, a genealogist employed by Scotland Yard, offers an overly similar plot. Once again, the police suspect a serial killer is at work, this time targeting members of a family with possible connections to the Mormon church whose ancestors may have some sins to atone for. Det. Chief Insp. Grant Foster and his team look into the murder of Katie Drake, a 37-year-old actress and single mother who lived in Queen's Park, a middle-class London neighborhood, as well as the disappearance of Drake's daughter on her 14th birthday. The police discover that a distant female relative of the Drakes also vanished just before turning 14. Barnes's skill at tracking obscure records to identify suspects and potential victims proves vital to the investigation. Unfortunately, too many coincidences and a far-fetched motive for the crimes make this a less successful effort than its predecessor. (Aug.)
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“Waddell's second outstanding thriller (after The Blood Detective) mixes the genealogy of a family who can't escape their ancestors' deeds in Utah with today's Morman fundamentalist splinter groups. Featuring brilliant detection by the police, the crime scene investigators, and the genealogist... this is a breathless roller-coaster ride.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
“...solidly plotted...boasts a protagonist whose unusual profession gives the story an added element of intrigue: using genealogy to unlock the victim's past and explain a contemporary crime. A definite winner, and further proof that Nigel Barnes is going to be a strong series lead.” ―Booklist
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Top Customer Reviews
'Blood Atonement' is an agreeable, quick read which has an interesting genealogy and Mormon story line. The plot is easy to follow, occasionally travelling back in time to 1890 to but mainly set in the present day. It's easy to work out quite early on as to where the story is going, and because of this I felt the suspense was a little lacking. It's not boring or slow though and I enjoyed picking it up. If you're looking for an entertaining and informative light read...this fits the bill.
Ned Browne (author of Crying Without Tears)
Modern day police work in London makes use of technological advances in DNA and- in this unusual case- the efforts of genealogist Nigel Barnes (who has a personal history with Heather Jenkins). Waddell ties the disciplines together to create a plot far more sophisticated than might first appear. As connections are made to other mysterious deaths with blood ties, albeit distant, Foster suspects a series of crimes stemming from a violent family incident. The problem is in locating the other players, intervening to save the life of a young boy in foster care who may be next on the death list. A visit across the ocean to the fabled archives of The Church of the Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah holds the final piece of the puzzle. It is in Salt Lake City that Heather and Nigel discover the seeds of discontent that have reached across the years.
Waddell skillfully blends a contemporary investigation with religious beliefs and an outraged family determined to find justice. The reach of the past is seductive and powerful, revenge fueled by one religion's directive that harkens back to the bloody origins of the faith. For all the technological progress, Foster finds the same implacable hatred of one man for another unchanged, blood atonement and religious beliefs secure in the bosom of family. Call it religion or call it cult, the results are equally disturbing, the fate of a fourteen-year-old girl and a troubled boy at stake should Foster dare to stumble. Luan Gaines/2009.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
was also very good
Tracking the bad guy is mostly done by Nigle Barnes, a genealogical research specialist.Read more