Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.
As he struggles to come to
terms with the aftermath of a life altering experience Jan Fabel, head of
Hamburg's Murder Commission, is haunted by an old case. Fifteen years earlier
Monika Krone went missing, now here dismembered body has been found, Fabel
reopens the investigation and as he does so men who were involved with Monika
start to die in grisly circumstances. A killer with a taste for the gothic is
stalking the streets of Hamburg looking for revenge.
and the shadow it casts over the here and now is one of the key themes in this
absorbing novel. On one level Craig Russell has written an above average
thriller featuring the familiar crime fiction trope of revenge being extracted
for an old wrong; dig deeper into The Ghosts of Altona and you find a
story about how the history of places and people alike is a palimpsest written
over time and again with different understandings of the same events.
throws into the mix the fascination with dark gothic fantasies and the need to
reconcile themselves to the more compromising aspects of their recent history
that are inherent to the German character.
Fabel Russell has created one of the better drawn versions of the thinking man
with a badge, writing convincingly about his almost existentialist struggle to
relate to his career, colleagues and significant others following the dramatic
events of the opening chapter.
writes well about a major character with a serious mental illness, avoiding the
usual clichés to show a man gripped by an understanding of the world that is as
real to him as it is unsettlingly strange to us.
haven't encountered the work of Craig Russell before and now see that as
marking a significant gap in my reading, if his previous books are of the
standard of this one filling it will be a pleasure.