Dan Waddell’s BLOOD DETECTIVE gives the reader an opportunity to consider the generational memory of a killer looking for retribution for a long-ago sin. When bodies appear in graveyards in present day London, police are baffled; there seems to be no connection. But during a postmortem, what appeared to be random cuts on the chest of the victim are instead the reference number, 1A137. Genealogist Nigel Barnes realizes that they refer to a death certificate from 1879. Albert Beck was one of five victims of Eke Fairbairn who was executed for the crimes. Evidence uncovered later seems to indicate that Fairbairn was innocent. Now, over 100 years later, it appears that a descendant of Fairbairn is trying to exact justice by killing the descendants of those involved in the prosecution.
This is a highly readable, highly enjoyable book for anyone who loves a good mystery (although the author isn’t sparing of grisly details). If the reader is also interested in history and genealogy then THE BLOOD DETECTIVE offers a significant bonus. Waddell provides the reader with a detailed look at how family history is also a history of a particular moment in time. No one’s life is ever small.