I’m pleased to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes, due to be published by Endeavour Quill in ebook and paperback on 18th March 2019. The book is described by the publishers as ‘an epic, compelling, edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps the reader from twentieth century Europe to modern-day New York’. Thanks to Hannah Groves at Endeavour for inviting me to take part in the tour.
For readers in the US, there’s a Goodreads giveaway with a chance to win a copy of the book.
To enter, follow this link but don’t hang about as entries close on 1st March 2019.
About the Book
In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the carnage and detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them…
As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years. And so it is, as post-war Europe tries desperately to drag itself back onto its feet, and soldiers attempt a return to normality, that retribution continues to ferment in the Gulags of the Soviet Union and beneath the surface of apparently ordinary lives.
Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past – even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.
Format: ebook, paperback (463 pp.) Publisher: Endeavour Quill
Published: 18th March 2019 Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction
Find The Blameless Dead on Goodreads
Switching frequently between Berlin in 1945 and New York in 2015, the author has taken a story of wartime atrocities and combined it with a contemporary crime mystery to create an action-packed thriller which, at time, explores some dark places and features some pretty depraved individuals.
Man’s inhumanity to man is a key theme of the book and how that can result in a desire for revenge and retribution lasting for years and which may be passed down through generations. I was reminded of a quote from a book I recently read – Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson – about the effect of the horrors of the slave trade on those who participated in that evil practice. ‘It’s the trade that does it to them. Deadens the goodness in the soul’. There’s certainly little goodness in the soul of many of the characters in The Blameless Dead. Just the opposite, in fact.
From the scenes set in 1945 Berlin, it’s clear the author has been meticulous in his research with detailed descriptions of weaponry, uniforms and military units. The turbulent history of Kalmykia in southern Russia and its distinctive culture, which is so pivotal to events in The Blameless Dead, was new to me. In fact, I’ll admit I’d never heard of the region before reading this book.
In the book description, the publishers mention that the book exposes events of modern history in ‘honest and unflinching terms’. I won’t disagree. Readers should be aware that the book contains references to wartime atrocities and to torture and abuse, including that of women and children. There are brief descriptions of violence and torture.
Part crime mystery, part historical novel, The Blameless Dead is a skilfully constructed thriller that nevertheless delves into some dark and, at times, disturbing subject matter. As the publishers say, the book demonstrates that, while hostilities may cease, the horror of war is never really over and that it leaves a lasting legacy on those involved.
I received an advance review copy courtesy of publishers, Endeavour Quill.
In three words: Dark, intense, suspenseful
Try something similar…A Quiet Genocide by Glenn Bryant (read my review here)
About the Author
Gary Haynes studied law at university before becoming a commercial litigator. He is interested in history, philosophy and international relations. When he’s not writing or reading, he enjoys watching European films, travelling, hill-walking and spending time with his family. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization. (Photo credit: Goodreads author page)
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