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The Ghosts of Altona by Craig Russell

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Winner of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2015.

Fabel is back: scarred by an experience that has changed him for ever and haunted by his past, he investigates the biggest case of his career...

If you like Craig Russell you might also like to read books by Thomas Harris, Andrew Pyper and Ian Rankin.

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The Ghosts of Altona by Craig Russell

Jan Fabel is a changed man. Head of the Polizei Hamburg's Murder Commission, Fabel has dealt with the dead for nearly two decades, but when a routine enquiry becomes a life-threatening - and life-altering - experience, he finds himself on much closer terms with death than ever before. Fabel's first case at the Murder Commission comes back to haunt him: Monika Krone's body is found at last, fifteen years after she went missing. Monika - ethereally beautiful, intelligent, cruel - was the centre of a group of students obsessed with the gothic. Fabel re-opens the case. What happened that night, when Monika left a party and disappeared into thin air? Meanwhile, Hamburg's most dangerous serial rapist has escaped from high-security prison. Fabel is convinced he had outside help, but from whom? His suspicions that the escape is connected to the discovery of Monika's body seem to lead to nothing when there are no sightings of the fugitive, but little can he imagine the real purpose for which this monster has been unleashed. When men involved with Monika start turning up dead, the crime scenes full of gothic symbolism, Fabel realizes he is looking for a killer with both a hunger for vengeance and a terrifying taste for the macabre. A true gothic demon is stalking the streets of Hamburg...


'Russell scores highly with his atmospheric portrayal of Hamburg and its dark river Elbe, as well as with the intelligence of his plots' The Times

'Craig Russell is a great writer' -- Peter James

'Russell remains one of the more intelligent and sophisticated proponents of the genre Herald The Ghosts Of Altona is a confidently unsettling crime novel that subverts expectations with a joyful intelligence.' The National

'In Jan Fabel Russell has created one of the better drawn versions of the thinking man with a badge' Shots Magazine

'He's (Jan Fabel's) become one of the most interesting detectives around; his seventh appearance is his best.' -- Marcel Berlins The Times

'This is an excellent read.' Literary Review

About the Author

Craig Russell
Craig Russell was born in 1956, in Fife, Scotland. He served as a police officer and worked in the advertising industry as a copywriter and creative director. Russell, who speaks German and has a long-standing interest in post-war German history and society, has been a freelance writer for twelve years; Blood Eagle is his first novel. He now lives in the West of Scotland.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 2015


Craig Russell

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Quercus Publishing


432 pages


Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
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Thriller / suspense



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