Completely unexpected twist towards the end of this novel. A complete side-swipe. And a cliffhanger ending.
Neither of which have anything to do with the central plot, where Istanbulli Inspectors Ikmen and Suleyman investigate the murder of the young woman from a mixed Catholic-Muslim family, whose apparent cure from leukaemia at an Armenian Church famed for its annual healing ceremony had stirred up strong reactions across Istanbul’s complex religious spectrum.
Back to Istanbul for more investigations in the company of Inspectors Ikmen and Süleyman and their police colleagues.
Always a great read – this one kept me turning the pages until almost midnight – and Barbara Nadel also shows you the social, religious and political tensions at play in modern Turkey. In The House of Four we get some late Ottoman history too.
Picked up in Frinton, Deadly Web reflects two of the key historical developments of the early years of the 21st century – the widespread availability of internet and the web, and the build up to the Iraq War – all the more interesting given the Istanbuli perspective.
The third theme is ceremonial magic and the line of witches and others with the sight in police Inspector Çetin İkmen’s own family.
Inspector Mehmet Suleyman’s personal life is a mess – his second wife has left him after he had to take an AIDS test having slept with a prostitute. And then he meets gypsy Gonca….
Through the good offices of Inspectors İkmen and Süleyman, plus an American celebrity chef and a dead man whose last meal featured human flesh, Barbara Nadel shows us ISIS, the caliphate and the porous Turkish-Syrian border, İstanbul’s Syrian refugees and the ongoing echoes the Gezi Park protests.
Still mourning the death of his sergeant, Ayşe Farsakoğlu, Inspector Çetin İkmen’s investigation the discovery of a woman’s body in the hippodrome of Constantinople leads him towards property developer Ahmet Oden, the rampant redevelopment of İstanbul’s older quarters and the Gezi park protests – with suitably Byzantine connections between them all.