Jan Fabel is a troubled man. His relationships with the women in his life are becoming increasingly complicated. If that weren’t bad enough, after a gap of ten years, a female serial killer – the Angel of St Pauli – again makes the headlines when an English pop star is found in Hamburg’s red-light district, dying of savage knife wounds.
Glasgow in the 1950s. Private investigator Lennox is keeping a low profile, enjoying a secret fling with the daughter of shady bookie and greyhound breeder MacFarlane. When MacFarlane is found bludgeoned to death, Lennox is a suspect. Luckily, he has a solid gold alibi: he was in bed with the victim’s daughter. Lennox is quickly drawn into hunting the killer, and it turns out MacFarlane was into some seriously dodgy stuff.
Lennox liked Quiet Tommy Quaid. Perhaps it's odd for a private detective to like - even admire - a career thief, but Quiet Tommy Quaid was the sort of man everyone liked. Amiable, easygoing, well dressed, with no vices to speak of - well, aside from his excessive drinking and womanising, but then, in 1950s Glasgow those were practically virtues. And besides, throughout his many exploits outside the law, Quiet Tommy never once used violence.
A Cologne detective asks Jan Fabel for his help in tracking down the Carnival Cannibal, a terrifying serial killer who kills at the start of the world-famous annual Carnival. Unknown to anyone, Fabel's deputy, Maria Klee, also heads for Cologne to hunt down a different, even more dangerous killer - one with whom she has a score to settle. Taras Buslenko, a Ukrainian special-forces commander, prepares his undercover unit for a "black" operation into Cologne.
Glasgow, 1953, is a hard city at a hard time. The war may be over but the battle for the streets is just beginning, and shady investigator Lennox is the man in the middle. The McGahern twins were on the way up until Tam, the brains of the outfit, becomes the victim of a vicious contract killing. Tam's brother Frankie turns to Lennox to find out who killed his twin. Lennox refuses. Later that night, Frankie turns up dead, and Lennox finds himself in the frame for murder.
"Fabulous reader telling a gripping story"
Just as a major environmental summit is about to start in Hamburg, a massive storm hits the city. When the flood waters recede, a headless torso is found washed up. Initially, Jan Fabel fears it may be another victim of a serial rapist and murderer who stalks his victims, then dumps their bodies in waterways around the city. But the truth of the situation is far more complex. Fabel’s investigations lead him to a secretive environmental Doomsday cult called “Pharos”, the brainchild of a reclusive, crippled billionaire.
The first woman had her lungs ripped out. When the same gruesome ritualistic method was used again, it was clear that the same killer was responsible. But there is no precise evidence to link the two cases, except for a tantalising email. Kriminalhauptkommissar Jan Fabel (half-Scottish, half-German) is a man of conscience and imagination. In his desperate attempt to solve the case before more victims are discovered, he gradually uncovers layer upon layer of intrigue.
Two high profile victims - a former left-wing radical turned environmental campaigner and a geneticist researching the possibility of inherited memory - are found murdered within 24 hours of each other. Both men have been scalped. Jan Fabel and his murder team have nothing to go on other than a single red hair left as a signature at each scene - each hair cut from the same head at least 20 years previously. Connections begin to appear: a long disbanded terrorist group; a mummified body; and a killer....
As Jan Fabel, of the Hamburg murder squad, interprets this twisted imagery at a crime scene, it becomes clear that each new crime is a grisly reference to folk stories collected by the Brothers Grimm. The hunt is on for a serial killer who is exploring the darkest, most fundamental fears hidden in ancient fairy tales.
"Dark and Fascinating."
Jan Fabel is a haunted 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-changing - experience, he finds himself on much closer terms with death than ever before. Two years later Fabel's first case at the Murder Commission comes back to haunt him: Monika Krone's body is found at last, 15 years after she went missing.
"Disappointing instalment in the Fabel series"
Jan Fabel, of the Hamburg murder squad, struggles to interpret the twisted imagery of a dark and brutal mind. Four days later, a man and a woman are found deep in woodland, their throats slashed deep and wide, the names "Hansel" and "Gretel", in the same, tiny, obsessively neat writing, rolled tight and pressed into their hands. It becomes clear that each new crime is a grisly reference to folk stories collected almost two hundred years ago by the Brothers Grimm.
Human remains are recovered from the bottom of the River Clyde. Not an unusual occurrence, but these have been sleeping the deep, dark sleep for eighteen years. Suddenly Glasgow’s underworld is buzzing with the news that the dredged up bones belong to Gentleman Joe Strachan, Glasgow’s most successful and ruthless armed robber.
"Sie haben den Akt gesehen, dessen ich fähig bin: meinen heiligen Akt. Nun ist es meine heilige Pflicht, meine Mission, fortzufahren, wie es Ihre Pflicht ist, mich zu finden, Herr Fabel...
Mysteriöse Verbrechen sorgen in Hamburg für Furcht und Schrecken, und nur eines scheint die Opfer miteinander zu verbinden: Bei allen finden sich Hinweise darauf, dass der Täter sich gezielt an den Märchen der Gebrüder Grimm orientiert.
Auf den Straßen tanzt das Volk, und das Einzige, was zählt, ist der Spaß an der Freud'. Doch Oberkommissar Benni Scholz hat andere Sorgen...
In Hamburg geht ein Serienkiller um, der seinen Opfern die Haare rot färbt...
Sturmflut in Hamburg. Ein weiblicher Torso wird angeschwemmt. Ist es die verschwundene Geliebte eines Hamburgers Senators...
Im Hamburger Rotlichtviertel wird ein britischer Popstar tot aufgefunden, von Messerstichen zerfetzt. Hat der Engel von St. Pauli wieder zugeschlagen...
Ein Blutiges Ritual aus der Zeit der Wikinger. Ein Serienmörder, der Hamburg unsicher macht. Ein Roman, der den Hörer packt und nicht mehr loslässt...
In his first crime novel, Craig Russell introduces us to a new detective hero, Jan Fabel, half-Scottish, half-German, a man of conscience and imagination. Russell has also created a richly textured scenario where the City of Hamburg plays a central role; it is a city where the old Germany combines increasingly with the new, where gangs from Turkey and the Ukraine battle for supremacy.
"Well worth a listen"