Thank you for joining me on the blog tour for The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell.
I have a great guest post by Dan Waddell to share with you today along with a chance to enter a giveaway to win an ecopy of the book. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...
The BLOOD DETECTIVE
Release Date: 28/02/2017
Nominated for the CWA New Blood Dagger in the UK and Macavity First Book award in the USA, and winner of the Prix Cezam Littéraire.
As dawn breaks over London, the body of a young man is discovered in a Notting Hill churchyard. The killer has left DCI Grant Foster and his team a grisly, cryptic clue. It's not until the clue is handed to Nigel Barnes, a specialist in compiling family trees, that the full message becomes spine-chillingly clear. It leads Barnes back more than one hundred years – to the victim of a demented Victorian serial killer. When a second body is discovered Foster needs Barnes's skills more than ever. The murderer's clues appear to run along the tangled bloodlines that lie between 1879 and now. And if Barnes is right, the killing spree has only just begun . . .
Genealogy and crime fiction seemed like a natural blend when the idea of The Blood Detective came to me that I suspected hundreds of authors had been there before me. Turns out they hadn't, which surprised me. Every genealogical search is a hunt, sifting through clues, whittling down suspects, pinpointing the subject of your search using evidence - it's the closest most of us will ever get to playing detective.
And let's face it, like detective work, family history also involves death, darkness and villainy - or at least it does when it's any good. Therein lies the real attraction. Give me the skeletons in the closet, the rogues, the black sheep over the virtuous and pure any day. As I first trawled through my family's past, I was delighted when I discovered both my grandmother and great grandmother - devout Catholics - had married when they were four months pregnant. Fallen women! Shotgun weddings! Manna from heaven (and Nanas in Heaven feeling their halos slip, as their Godly guises were stripped back...) In a previous life, I had been a tabloid journalist and the thirst for salacious gossip never quite leaves you. But then I was inexplicably crestfallen when I realised that was the sum total of scandal in my entire family tree. Curse those moral do-gooders.
But in the silent stories of the past lies a mass of plot lines and ideas, and that's where the inspiration for The Blood Detective first arose. Rooting through the indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths, you pass hundreds, thousands, millions of names of people now gone and forgotten.
It was after scouring these catalogues of the dead that the ideafor the outline came to me. What if a body was found, and on it was carved the reference to a death certificate of someone who had been murdered on the same day, in the same place, but in the distant past? And to help them solve the crime the police were forced to turn to a naive, unworldly genealogist for help? All this came to me over several pints of beer at a friends birthday drinks. Without a pen or paper to hand, I texted the idea to myself.
Unlike every other flash of drunken inspiration, the next morning it still seemed like a good idea. I started to write it immediately, with one aim: to make the genealogy as compulsive as it is when you're the person poring over your ancestor's signature, or their cause of death, or their description on a census return, or their army record, or even their grave. The past falls away, the years vanish, and you are faced with another human being like you, one that lived and loved and aspired. Who, just like you will, ended up six feet under.
That's another thing about genealogy - it helps put things in perspective. Respect the dead. After all, we all end up joining their ranks.
With many thanks to Dan Waddell for this brilliant guest post.
Dan Waddell is the award-winning author of more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, among them the bestselling book which accompanied the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? His first crime novel, the critically-acclaimed The Blood Detective, won the prestigious Prix Cezam Littéraire in France and was nominated for debut awards in the UK and USA. He lives in London with his family.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/646165.Dan_Waddell
An ecopy of the book!