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by Craig Russell
Hutchinson, June 2006
384 pages
ISBN: 0091796946

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

BROTHER GRIMM is the second book in the series featuring Hauptkommissar Jan Fabel, the half-Scottish half-Frisian member of the Hamburg murder squad. In this second book in the series, Fabel finds himself investigating a number of gruesome murders. The brutal and ghastly murders that are inflicted on the victims make Fabel believe that he is hunting for a serial killer as each new murder victim has been left with a reference, all of them related to the fairy stories of the Brothers Grimm.

On top of all this Fabel has to also deal with conflicts within his squad because of what happened in BLOOD EAGLE, and domestic issues as well. His relationship with his mother gives him food for thought when she is rushed into hospital and this has repercussions with his relationship with his girlfriend and daughter.

Each chapter starts with the date and a timeline, which encompasses when something significant happens. The reader is taken step by step through the intricacies as they try to understand the connection between the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and the serial killer that they have dubbed the 'literary psycho killer.'

Like the first book in this excellent series, this is a police procedural of the highest calibre. Enthralling, harsh and totally captivating this is the type of book that keeps you up all night. BROTHER GRIMM has a strong sense of place, lots of action and of course, the plotting is tight, absorbing, and guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Fabel is a determined police officer with a lot of integrity, faith and resolve to do what is right in the face of adversity.

This book works equally as well as a standalone book, but you get a better appreciation of the characters, and their flaws if you read the first book in the series before this one. Reading BROTHER GRIMM will certainly ensure that you will never look at fairy tales in the same way ever again.

Reviewed by Ayo Onatade, May 2006

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