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Publisher's Summary

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. Monika - ethereally beautiful, intelligent, cruel - was the centre of a group of students obsessed with the gothic.

Fabel reopens the case. What happened that night when Monika left a party and disappeared into thin air? When men involved with Monika start turning up dead, Fabel realizes he is looking for a killer with both a hunger for revenge and a taste for the gothic.

What he doesn't know is that someone has been aiding and grooming a deranged escapee as his own personal tool for revenge. A truly gothic monster to be let loose on the world.

©2015 Craig Russell (P)2015 WF Howes

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Miriam
  • Tuggeranong DC, Australia
  • 09-21-15

Disappointing instalment in the Fabel series

The narration of this book contained some very strange pronunciations, stumbles and slips: and I don't believe it was an issue of translation or adaptation. The odd one is tolerable, but there were enough here for it to become annoying. A disappointing lack of attention to the narration - whether in editing or direction - of this product.

In addition, it saddens me to say that this isn't the strongest instalment of the Fabel series. I was surprised at how unsubtle the ending was. While the Fabel books are quite dark, they usually have a level of sophistication and innovation that seemed to be missing from this particular story. It will still be a 'must read' for a Fabel completist, but I wouldn't readily recommend it to a casual reader.

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Profile Image for lorried
  • lorried
  • 04-13-17

missed Sean Barrett

really missed sean barret, my favourite narrator. really great listen otherwise. More jan fabel soon please Mr Russell

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joe
  • Joe
  • 11-24-15

The ghost of a formerly decent writer

What disappointed you about The Ghosts of Altona?

I commented quite some time back that Craig Russell was was one of the best writers in this genre working today. Well not anymore based on this showing. The last book in the Jan Fabel series was also quite poor in my opinion but this book really did plumb the depths of unimaginative writing, poor plot construction with many strands poorly explained and terrible terrible ending. However, the cardinal sin is that the books big mystery was fairly obvious early into the book resulting in a long drawn out, unnecessary and poorly explained denouement.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

None

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

Lets hope that Craig Russell doesn't destroy the Lennox books the same way he destroyed this series of books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephen W
  • Stephen W
  • 09-02-15

Not one his next

The narrator got a fair amount of abuse from listeners, which I cannot understand at all. Of course, one becomes used to a particular voice for certain authors but Peter Noble was very good I felt.

I have to say that the story was a little predictable and somewhat disappointing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Richard
  • Richard
  • 09-05-15

Spoiled By Narrator

When I purchased this book, I wrongly assumed that the narrator of the previous books, Sean Barrett, would also be narrating the latest offering from Craig Russell. Obviously I was wrong.
I really have to agree with many other reviewer's, the narrator of this title, Peter Noble, is pretty poor. This may not be Craig russell's finest book, but this is the first time that I have not thoroughly enjoyed listening to something written by the author. Peter Noble's narration simply sucked the life out of this audiobook. Ponderous, monotone, with an inability to differentiate the characters. I realise that I'm comparing Mr Noble with the superb, Sean Barrett,quite possibly Mr Noble does a fine job when narrating other genres, but he really is not suited to narrating what is after all,supposed to be a "thriller".

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joe de Swardt
  • Joe de Swardt
  • 12-13-15

Why are there not more German detectives?

Craig's Fabel is a great character and the german setting more than makes up for the hint of smugness in the character. The villains are vile and the plot is thick. Dive in and enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for caroline
  • caroline
  • 09-02-15

So average its disappointing

Any additional comments?

The story is terrific but the pace and the narration completely ruin it. Everyone sounds like they are in a church, soft, quiet and the women, why do all the women sound so sympathetic? or ridiculously slutty. I kept having to go back and rel-isten as I found my mind wandering and couldn't concentrate on the plot. Peter Noble is a good narrator but not suited for this type of book. Why does Audio continue to change narrators? Why try and fix something which was never broken in the first place?

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul Wakeford
  • Paul Wakeford
  • 08-21-15

Good story pitiful performance

A very good story as one has come to expect from Craig Russell. The whole was spoilt by the most pitiful performance. There were occasions when I wondered if the narrator had dozed off. Perhaps because he became bored with his own narration, I certainly was. Fortunately, my wife had purchased the book and I was able to abandon the audio book and complete the book by old fashioned reading. After Sean Barrett, who's performance in all Russell's previous books has been outstanding and has greatly added to the pleasure of listening to them, why one wonders, did he use Peter Nobel.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Reader
  • Reader
  • 06-10-15

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh

Any additional comments?

Oh dear, oh dear.

You wait for a new Craig Russell.

It arrives at last (ok it's a Fabel not a Lennox so second best), you download and look forward to it. Hooray

What a disappointment, what a total disappointment.

Not the story - well I don't know because I could not listen for more than an hour or so - but the narrator. Yes in the past Russell's books have been read by the master, Sean Barrett, so I suppose any change would be hard to take. But what a choice!

Fabel like Lennox are action led stories, tension, excitement. The narrator of this book is slow slow slow and dull dull dull. He totally destroys ANY sense of tension whatsoever, and after a short while any desire to continue listening, indeed it's painful. It's like verbal mogadon, no its worse. Sadly I cannot think of a really good analogy, so I'll just have to say it's terrible. Sure this is a voice you might want to hear in A&E, soothing calming relaxing. But for a story like this ? No no no.

So there we are an hour into a new long awaited story and it has to be turned off and sent back. Guess I'll buy a hard copy to read.

Please please listen closely to sample then imagine 8 hours of it.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for POS
  • POS
  • 05-21-17

Great Narration.

I enjoyed listening to the novel very much and how Peter Noble brought each character to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Revmama
  • Revmama
  • 05-30-16

excellent

Another good listen. shame the series has ended really. twists and turns ss usual .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful