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  • Location: Istanbul

Belshazzar’s Daughter (Inspector Ikmen 1)

Belshazzar’s Daughter (Inspector Ikmen 1)

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Off to the little known area of Balat in Istanbul and now a Jewish man has been found murdered.. Inspector Ikmen has his first case

  • ISBN: 978-0747262176
  • Genre: Crime, Mystery

What you need to know before your trail

Istanbul is a glamourous city in the tourist brochures and Balat one of its less picturesque neighbourhoods. But it was the home of Leonid Mayer, an elderly and reclusive jewish man. He’s seen violence and fled from it in the past, finally settling  here. But then he is found murdered with a swastika at the scene and things turn very ugly indeed.

Inspsector Ikmen is not sure if the murder is racist or not and so starts tracking down everyone the man may have known, who ever they might be. One line of interest is Robert Cornelius, a teacher who was seen outside Meyer’s flat shortly after the murder, and a retired businessman, Reinhold Smits, known to have had Nazi sympathies. But then they meet a ninety-year-old Russian émigré, Maria Gulcu, who thinks she possesses a secret worth killing for…

Travel Guide

“Balat. He tramped its filthy streets, its winding labrinthe alleys, six days a week, but it never bored him”

And so we enter the streets of Balat, a neighbourhood of Istanbul full of Dickensian charm and everything that comes associated with that. There is a large Jewish population and a sense that this is their hideaway, not only from the bloodbaths in Europe, but from life itself. Things are different in Balat and Jews with their traditions and lifestyle are one of them it would seem.

There are nameless backstreets and people hanging around in the shadows in the warren like through fare. This is the hidden nooks and crannies of an otherwise bustling city and also the scene for murder.

“The streets and alleyways are like the veins on the back of an old man’s hand.”

As well as Dickensian, this has the feel of a secret coven of streets and people who inhabit this world. Shadows and twisty streets keep their secrets and where Jews hide in plain sight until one of them is murdered.

The setting of Turkey gives the murder and the Nazi and anti Semitic themes a new and unique backdrop. It is a melting pot of those from all walks of life.The inclusion of Byzantine history weaves this into a full insight of a time and place off the beaten track

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Twitter: @BarbaraNadel

Web: barbara-nadel.com

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