Nadel just gets better and better. I have read her three previous novels with great enjoyment, but Deep Waters takes her onto a new level. This is a fiendishly plotted thriller, brilliantly written and wholly enthralling.
As in her other three Inspector Ikmen novels, the reader is plunged headlong into the subculture of Istambul, but - brilliant though her evocation of the city and its disparate communities is - nothing here is added for mere local colour. As you move deeper into the book, the realisation dawns that everything that you are reading is closely relevant to her tightly-interwoven plotlines. Nothing is wasted, and the cumulative effect is superb.
Against a background of an ancient Albanian blood-fued, Nadel weaves a complex story of murder, hatred, madness and redemption.
Her characters seem more rounded than before, real people caught up in an ever more horrifying web of circumstance. Her understanding of their psychology shines through, investing even the most extreme with a profound sense of reality. More than anything else, her evocation of the psychology of madness is chilling.
Nadel also pulls off the difficult trick of making the whodunnit aspect of the book only one of many points of interest. Yes, you try to second-guess the plot; but even where [you think that] you've suceeded, there is always something else about which you are keen to know more. The result is that this is a serious page-turner, and genuinely very difficult to put down.
Always fascinating, frequently chilling and ultimately unexpectedly moving, this is the work of a mature author at the height of her powers.