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16
3.6 out of 5 stars
Dead of Night (Inspector Ikmen Mysteries)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2012
Dead of Night is the 14th book to feature Barbara Nadel's brilliant and rather fecund Inspector Çetin İkmen, and his suave sidekick Mehmet Süleyman. At this point in the series you might expect any writer to flag a little, but Nadel shows no signs of fatigue. She has produced a complex slice of crime fiction which successfully mixes historical quirkiness with hard-hitting social commentary.

Dead of Night sees İkmen and Süleyman leave their regular Istanbul beat to attend a conference in Detroit and the culture shock hits the second they land. America is colder and dirtier than either expected. While visiting a rundown project being coaxed towards regeneration by a tenacious resident, they encounter Ezekiel Goins, an elderly man whose life has been destroyed by the murder of his son. He blames a local white supremacist group, headed by a now octogenarian half-Jewish anti-Semite, but by dint of the man's influence he has gone unpunished for decades. Ezekiel feels a bond with the Turkish policemen; he is a Melungeon, descended from Turkish sailors shipwrecked in America centuries earlier. To him, that makes them kin and he's convinced they are the only people who can avenge his son. İkmen is carrying the burden of grief from his own son's death and Ezekiel arouses enough sympathy in him to want to pursue the matter.

Meanwhile, back in Istanbul Ayşe Farsakoğlu is plunging into the dark world of internet fandom, monitoring the supporters springing up around recently released serial rapist, Ali Kuban, the Beast of Edirnekapi. The man himself is too old to be a danger to women, Ayşe feels, but she sees evidence of genuine threat among his fans. When an online status update promises a spectacular event in Sulukule, scene of Kuban's final atrocity, Ayşe goes against her superior's orders and investigates. She puts her own safety on the line, and makes a completely unexpected discovery in the abandoned gypsy quarter.

Ayşe misses İkmen's guidance but events in Detroit have taken a shocking turn and Süleyman returns to Istanbul alone. İkmen's curiosity about the unsolved murder of Elvis Goins has piqued the interest of local detective Gerald Diaz and the men are in agreement that it appears linked with the recent death of another youngster. Then Diaz is gunned down, after sending a text to İkmen saying `Got him'. But who? And why send it to İkmen rather than one of his colleagues? As the investigation progresses, via rundown slums, junkyards and funeral parlours, it emerges that perhaps not all of Diaz's colleagues are as clean as they should be, and that kind of corruption doesn't come into the light easily.

This is the first Barbara Nadel book I've read but I didn't once feel lost, largely because she peppers the narrative with enough information about the characters' backgrounds and dynamics to draw new readers in - and make you want to attack her back catalogue. Dead of Night is atypical within the series, being set mainly in America, and I'm looking forward to seeing İkmen and Süleyman in their natural surroundings. That said, Nadel's Detroit is vividly rendered and clearly well researched and fans of The Wire will love the way she skilfully excavates the unexpected links within the city's fractured communities.

Barbara Nadel is an accomplished storyteller and Dead of Night is a spiderweb of a book, lots of sticky strands perfectly woven together. With short chapters chopping back and forth between Detroit and Istanbul the story really barrels along and you will find yourself saying `just one more chapter.'
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2012
I love Barbara Nadel's Ikmen books. Her characterisation is wonderful and her ability to conjour up the senses of Istanbul is second to none. But, why oh why do so many British writers end up by placing their main characters in the USA? Why? One of the biggest plusses about the Ikmen books is the setting and everything that goes with it. In this book, which is 90% set in Detroit, the foul language flows from the mouths of Americans like water from a hose pipe. Suleiman isn't happy there and Ikmen is like a fish out of water. No, I wouldn't recommend this book to anybody who enjoys Barbara Nadel's wonderful descriptions of Turkey and its myriad of characters because in "Dead Of Night" they are conspicuously absent. However, anybody who like, it seems, so many British authors, thinks that the USA with all the accoutrements that go with it is the greatest thing since sliced bread you may be happy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2012
Disappointing- Nadel seems to think that by adding another ethnic compononent to the story, that is enough (In this case an American group that claims descent from Ottoman sailors ). The crime thread- which is why we read it on the whole- is very lame and the outcome easily guessed. Not one to recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2012
Not one of Nadel's best Ikmen novels but good enough. Those who have enjoyed the earlier ones in the series have no choice here as the doing of the Istanbul murder squad has some interesting and unexpected twists and turns. As ever, Nadel keeps 2 stories running at the same time, and as well as ever.

**** for Nadel groupies

** for newcomers
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I like this series and the exoticism of Instanbul but I equally enjoyed this book. Detroit may not be exotic but it is foreign to what I know and I think Ms Nadel has done a good job of exploring its underbelly. Our two intrepid detectives have been sent to a conference in Detroit and meet a Melungeon who believes that he is descended from Turks and that only Turkish detectives can solve the 30 year old murder of his son. Events spiral from this. Despite there being several bodies I found this to be a slow burner, where events unfold slowly, piece by piece to a finale. It is a great read - tense and compulsive and I found myself in full "just another chapter" mode until I finished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2012
I really enjoy the Ikmen books, but a big part of that is the Istanbul setting and culture which I missed here. The plot was still enjoyable with the characters and Detroit interesting but I hope we're back in Istanbul next time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2012
not as good as other inspector Ikmen stories.
Did not like the american setting
First time I became bored during the story.
I would not recommend this book but I generally would recommend Barbara Nadel 's stories
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on 16 February 2015
I usually love this series but this time the author has summoned Inspector Ikmen and his colleague, Mehmet Suleyman, to an international police conference in the decaying American city of Detroit. Huge areas of the city are derelict and even the hotel in which they are staying is partly used for homeless people and crime ridden. Almost immediately they are approached by an American who believes he is descended from Turks and who wants justice for his son, shot dead years ago. When Ikmen,s enquiries with the police lead to further killings, he feels unable to return to Istanbul with his colleague. Mehmet Suleyman hates Detroit and returns to Turkey, leaving Ikmen to face considerable danger alone. Suleiman also faces some soul searching of his own when he finds two of his colleagues in a relationship of which he disapproves. Definitely not one of my favourites of the series.
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on 8 October 2012
I have read all the Çetin İkmen novels, the series has been quite varied but all the novels have been well worth reading. It is very hard to keep a series like this going without them either becoming potboilers, or having such improbable plots that they are no longer believable. Barbara Nadel has avoided both these traps and I think that Dead of Night is one of the best books in the series. Çetin İkmen continues to grow in stature and likeability, and obviously has a few more books to go. At one point it looked as if Mehmet Süleyman was being groomed to take his place as the main character in the series, but in this book his star continues to wane and he seems well on his way to becoming a rather pathetic and possibly dirty old man.
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on 31 July 2012
I like to choose some of my crime writers for trips on my Kindle to cities I used to be able to visit - preferably somewhere rather warmer than England so - Dona Leon and Commissario Brunetti take me back to Venice; Magdalen Nabb to Florence. Barbara Nadel and Inspector Ikmen were brilliant in Turkey .I did manage his visit to England in her last book but, this time, sadly, we are taken to Detroit in the depths of winter and like Inspector Suleyman who accompanies him to a police congress, I can't wait to get back to Istanbul . I would usually give her 5 stars but I am sorry, not this time.
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