Book review: Blood Atonement

Dan Waddell A fascinating mixture of modern crime novel and family history research, Blood Atonement takes Nigel Barnes from London to the USA as he races against time to find answers for Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster.

Foster’s first case after returning to work following injuries sustained in The Blood Detective [first in this genealogical crime series] is a dead actress and her missing daughter. Links to the actress’s past, mystery about her family and unanswered questions, lead Foster to call in the help of genealogist Nigel Barnes. Both men are strong characters who walk off the page, both loners of a kind, both lonely in love.

This is a fast-moving mystery revolving around what happened to Horton and Sarah Rowley, who we know from flashbacks were teenage sweethearts planning to run away, but who only appear in records in the UK from 1891. Before that, they cease to exist. Where did they come from, and why were they running? Simply because their parents disapproved of the marriage, or something more sinister? And what has this to do with the dead actress found lying face down on her lawn in London? As he searches for the missing 14-year old, Foster finds chilling parallels with Leonie, another 14-year old who disappeared three years earlier and has never been found. As links to a cult are uncovered, attention focuses back on Sarah and Horton.

A satisfying well-written plot which manages to slip in a little history too.

Read my review of the first in the series, The Blood Detective.

If you like ‘Blood Atonement’, try these:-
‘In the Blood’ by Steve Robinson
‘Hiding the Past’ by Nathan Dylan Goodwin
‘Blood Atonement’ by Dan Waddell, #2 Nigel Barnes [UK: Penguin] Buy at Amazon

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
BLOOD ATONEMENT by @danwaddell #bookreview http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1Ub via @SandraDanby #genealogy