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Sunday 9 October 2022

‘Forfeit’ by Barbara Nadel

Published by Headline,
13 May 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-4722-7351-2 (PB)

This is a complex thriller with a tortuous plot - many characters (very glad of the Cast List at the beginning of the book!) which involves the former Istanbul detective Cetin Ikmen working out of retirement to help Mehmet Suleyman and Kerim Gursel solve an intricate murder mystery. 

The story is beautifully invocative of Istanbul and its murkier districts as well as involving mystic storytellers who may be part of the Syrian diaspora in the city. 

A Turkish TV star is found murdered next to another body which is revealed to be a Syrian refugee.  A woman in prison is charged with attacking the TV star Erol Gencer the previous year and thought to be responsible for his later murder. 

There follows a plot involving greed, lust, betrayal and dark secrets involving double lives.  The story is interwoven with mythic stories and story tellers who appear to be involved with stolen antiquities from President Assad - a sort of Robin Hood character who distributes money stolen from the dictator to fund supporters and refugees living in Turkey. 

The author clearly has an intimate knowledge of Istanbul and its various quarters as well as a vivid awareness of the dark secrets people live with.  A fascinating journey for those of us with little knowledge of the transgender community in Istanbul as well as a welcome return to business for Cetin Ikmen!
Reviewer: Toni Russell

Barbara Nadel was born in the East End of London. She rained 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.


Toni Russell
is a retired teacher who has lived in London all her life and loves the city.  She says, ‘I enjoy museums, galleries and the theatre but probably my favourite pastime is reading.  I found myself reading detective fiction almost for the first time during lockdown and have particularly enjoyed old fashioned detective fiction rather than the nordic noir variety.  I am a member of a book club at the local library and have previously attended literature classes at our local Adult Education Centre.  I am married with three children and five grandchildren. 

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