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.
An early outing with İstanbuli policemen Çetin İkmen and Mehmet Süleyman.
İkmen finds his excuse to avoid pre trial paperwork ends up embroiling him in multiple affairs of the heart and passions verging on obsession, featuring Lawrence of Arabia’s batman and an Ottoman princess, carpets and present day lovers in İstanbul’s diplomatic community.
Elsewhere, a moralistic murderer called the Peeper is on a serial killing spree which requires Süleyman to collaborate with the mysterious state security services.
Çetin İkmen unwillingly enters his pre-retirement year only to face months of frustration chasing a serial killer claiming victims on a monthly basis. As it becomes clear that the crimes involve both the Roma community and Ottoman aristocracy, İkmen and Süleyman slowly work their way towards identifying the killer – drawing on their relations with and in these two very different worlds.
A cracking crime novel – one of Nadel’s best, particularly if you’ve been reading your way through the series….. and a very, very unexpected twist at the end.