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Monday 18 May 2015

‘Poisoned Ground’ by Barbara Nadel

Published by Quercus,
11 September 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-84866-419-7

Lee Arnold, ex-policeman, runs a detective agency in London's East End.  He is dealing with the case of a man who has fraudulently sold the house which is part owned with his divorced wife, taken all the profits and disappeared.  The situation is, of course, not as straightforward as it might seem.  Simultaneously his assistant, Mumtaz Hakim, is working undercover in a hospital; the case concerns an Egyptian male nurse accused of possessing a home made bomb and his wife, Salwa, wants Mumtaz to find proof that Hatem was framed.
Barbara Nadel has excellent knowledge of the East End and, in particular, its diverse ethnic groups.  She also has a clear grasp of the issues faced in the mental health system and her hospital background is equally well handled.  Neither of the 2 detectives has a simple life and they both carry considerable baggage relating to their lives previously.  They take quite a lot of pressure physically and mentally as their investigations progress.  
The story is exciting and the characters fascinating.  I enjoyed the ramifications of these cases and the interaction of the detectives with the people around them.  The tension is ratcheted up to a frightening climax.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Barbara Nadel has a lengthy series set in Turkey featuring Inspector Ikmen and a short series about Francis Hancock in the East End during the Blitz.  This book is the third about Hakim and Arnold.

Barbara Nadel was born in the East End of London. She trained as an actress, and used to work in mental health services. She now writes full time and has been a visitor to Turkey for over twenty years. She received the Crime Writers' Association Silver Dagger for her novel Deadly Web.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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