A Novel of Istanbul
Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312316532, 304pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2004
When a brutal murder shocks Istanbul's rundown Jewish quarter, the Turkish police force unleashes their best weapon - the chain-smoking, brandy-swilling Inspector Cetin Ikmen, husband to a strict Muslim woman (who disapproves of his drinking) and loving father of eight (with another on the way). With such a colorful personality and unrivaled investigative powers, Ikmen will surely join the ranks of beloved foreign cops Aureilo Zen and Guido Brunetti.
Barbara Nadel was born and bred in London. Trained as an actress, she is now a public relations officer for the National schizophrenia Fellowship's Good Companions Service. She loves Turkey and has been a regular visitor there for over 20 years.
British Praise for Belshazzar's Daughter:
"Intriguing, exotic whodunnit set in the scruffy Turkish township of Balat...Local colour judiciously applied and ethnic differences (White Russian refugees, uxorious Turks, fraught British expats) skilfully explored...A first novel: exciting, accomplished and original."
- Literary Review
"Best crime fiction by a new writer was Barbara Nadel's Belshazzar's Daughter. Set in Istanbul, with a battered, cynical and credible Turkish cop, and a great blooming baroque plot (ditto talent)."
- Books of the Year, Independent Weekend Review
"An unusual and very well written first novel...Although the murder mystery is intriguing, it is the characters who make this book so successful. The police team and their little feuds, the English teacher besotted with his mysterious Turkish girlfriend, and, most memorably, the chain-smoking little Inspector Ikmen, with his eight children and pregnant wife, contribute to this portrayal of an exotically different city."
- Sunday Telegraph
"This is an extraordinarily interesting first novel: the idea which drives its plot is an intriguing one; the Istanbul background is richly and thickly layered; the diverse cast of characters exhibits most of the psychoses known to man; while Çetin Ikmen is a detective one hopes to see more of."
- Evening Standard
"This Istanbul-set-thriller combines a multi-layered description of its locale with an equally complex plot...Nadel presents a fully fledged psychological understanding worthy of the best of the genre and her plotting is satisfyingly labyrinthine. Inspector lkmen too, is a highly unusual protagonist, characterized in a way that owes little to her predecessors. An evocative and idiosyncratic debut novel."
- Good Book Guide
"In Inspector Ikmen, Nadel has created a sympathetic sleuth. Supported by his handsome side-kick, intellectual father and plaintive wife, Ikmen should go far."
"....Local colour judiciously applied and ethnic differences...skilfully explored...A first novel: exciting, accomplished and original."