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As the story unfolds we meet some odd seemingly unrelated individuals, including Zombie and Frankenstein, and we drop in on a group of people who regularly meet to talk abo There are several interconnecting threads running through the storyline of The Ghosts of Altona and a plethora of characters. As the story unfolds we meet some odd seemingly unrelated individuals, including Zombie and Frankenstein, and we drop in on a group of people who regularly meet to talk about their near death experiences NDE.

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Craig Russell's characters in The Ghosts of Altona are not stereotypical but complex individuals neither entirely good, or evil. They are flawed, depraved, sociopathic, psychopathic, innocent, naive, and charming. Traumatic experiences have shaped them into what they have become or maybe they're just unfortunate to have inherited some very bad genes. Craig Russell writes intelligently and with sensitivity about a key characters mental illness, and of another's medical condition which has resulted in horrendous physical abnormalities.

Incredibly powerful and thoughtful stuff! It was difficult to truly hate the 'the bad guys' even though I still wanted to see them get their just deserts. Initially I thought the ending rather abrupt but after mulling it over actually appreciated the opportunity to draw my own conclusion as to what I wanted to happen between the characters. Maybe there's more to come in a follow up as an opening is certainly there.

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The Ghosts of Altona is an absorbing above average crime thriller which weaves into the storyline the fascinating history of the Gothic origins and traditions. The Ghosts of Altona is absolutely not one to miss. I discovered Craig Russell writing as Christopher Galt last year with, in my opinion the totally underrated, Biblical.

An intelligent, compulsive, sci-fi read and I really wanted to read more from him. A complimentary digital copy of The Ghosts of Altona was provided by Quercus via NetGalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review. Sep 28, Kerrie rated it it was amazing. The announcement on Crime Watch that this novel is the winner of the Scottish Crime Novel of the Year reminded me that Craig Russell is an author that I was taken with nearly a decade ago, but I have read only the first two in the Jan Fabel series, and none since I began this blog.

I know I have some hard back copies of at least one or two novels on my shelves somewhere. So this seemed an opportune moment to do some catching up with Jan Fabel. Jan Fabel has come a long way since the novel I read nearly ten years ago. Two years ago in "novel time" he nearly died, and his near death experience NDE changed his whole approach to life.

Not only is he now a member of the Club of the Living Dead, people who have experienced similar NDEs, he is participating in group research into what actually happens as people experience death. There is a remarkable depth to this novel, a feeling of good research, as the reader meets others who have also had NDEs and reacted quite differently to Fabel. There is also an exploration of Fabel's leadership style, the way he feels as if he is a fatherly figure for his hand-picked colleagues in Hamburg's Murder Commission. And this is a novel where cold case meets the present day.

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The discovery of Monika Krone's skeleton under the asphalt of a car park, a murder unsolved for fifteen years, seems to trigger a number of deaths, seemingly unrelated. But in reality the two novels take entirely different paths. Russells Krimis sind "irgendwie anders", aber im positiven Sinne.

Auch die Plots sind interessant, originell und ebenso gut recherchiert wie durchdacht: Diesmal sind die zentralen Themen Nahtoderfahrungen und das Gothic-Milieu. Jun 09, Billyf27 rated it liked it. This novel had a great story with realistic broken characters.

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The ending left you eager for more from Craig Russell. I haven't read the other books in the series and that was no trouble at all. I can't wait to read the next one and will order it as soon as I can. Jul 21, Jane Myers rated it it was amazing. I've done it again Another great Jan Fabel book, long awaited and will not disappoint.

Why did I race through all seven Fabel novels in quick succession?! Because they're so good I simply couldn't help myself even though I knew the moment would come when I turned the final page of 7 and there wasn't a new one to move onto. Well, here I am and it's worse than I thought because the ending is so I'm convinced Craig Russell devised it so readers feeling bereft at the prospect of Jan Fabel's absence from their lives would have to move on to his Why did I race through all seven Fabel novels in quick succession?!

I'm convinced Craig Russell devised it so readers feeling bereft at the prospect of Jan Fabel's absence from their lives would have to move on to his Lennox series for their fix of Russell's brilliant storytelling. Certainly that's what I intend. Another thing, I'm convinced of is that Russell has some kind of conduit into my head because his books cover ALL my favourite things: Not to mention twisty, complicated plots that use crime solving as a way to explore complex issues about who we are and how the modern world is shaped by all that has gone before.

What makes this all the more interesting to me is Russell uses a German policeman to develop his themes, tapping into his country's dark history and rich cultural traditions. Okay, I guessed the Big Twist early on but that might be to do with having read the novels so close together it was difficult to fool me. However, the opening section got me good! It is stunning and sets up the rest of the book very effectively. I love Jan Fabel and hope to goodness Craig Russell plans more books in this series I need to know Susanne's answer to that question.

Nov 30, Philip rated it liked it. No bad, not bad at all. Not everyone's cup of tea though. It's set in Germany with rather - deliberately I suspect - stiff characters that at times seem almost the German stereotype. That said, Fabel, the main protagonist is likeable, though lacking a sense of humour. His sidekicks' like Anna, for example, get the best lines. Fabel is fairly typical of the detective breed in novels of this type, a goody-goody smart-arse with seemingly few skeletons in the closet.

Yes, the guy was shot and had a No bad, not bad at all. Yes, the guy was shot and had a near-death but the preoccupation with this just gets tediously repetitive. Readable enough in isolation but seems rather tame up against against MacBrides' gritty novels. I was torn between giving this a 3 or a 4 and still have mixed feelings.

On the other hand, there were things that happened in the story to force the narrative that just didn't make sense. Still, a very good story if you don't pass too critical an eye over it. Aug 19, Jo rated it really liked it. I found this book for sale as an ex-Library book. Been on the shelf for ages. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

In parts it was confusing and I thought it would be too long but I ate away the chapters eager to crack on with the plot. I kind of sensed what the outcome was going to be but it didn't spoil the read. It kept me gripped and if I ever see another Jan Fabel novel I shall snap it up. Good but not great I'm a huge fan of Craig Russell's series of Jan Fabel books but this is by far the weakest of them. It has all the beautiful description of Hamburg but the plot wasn't unpredictable enough.

The real story was pretty obvious towards the end, but I think it was meant to be. The actual end as a bit abrupt for my liking, I prefer to have ends tied up. But a good read. Sep 13, Barbpie rated it really liked it Shelves: I love this series. Aug 29, Astrid rated it it was ok. I enjoyed it very much. There were a lot of amazing twists and turns.

I hope there are more novels featuring Jan Fabel. Life is too short to waste on stuff like this. Read the dictionary instead. Oct 16, Ruthless Baba rated it really liked it. The Jan Fabel mysteries set in Hamburg, Germany rank up there as some of the best novels I have ever read - and I am a voracious reader! This novel has a number of threads that seem unrelated but are all eventually knitted into a complex and somewhat abrupt ending. Character development, historical and scientific facts and metaphysical speculation combine for an entertaining read with the pages flying by way to fast.

This is not you standard "serial killer" novel with, arguably save for one, pur The Jan Fabel mysteries set in Hamburg, Germany rank up there as some of the best novels I have ever read - and I am a voracious reader! This is not you standard "serial killer" novel with, arguably save for one, pure evil on display.

The "back story" of some characters you would anticipate hating is so complex your feelings towards and about them becomes not what you would expect. Where I live in Canada, the Fabel novels are hard to come by. Blood Eagle, the first in this series, somehow found it's way into our local book store, and I was hooked. Not only did they ship it to me as soon as they got it - it was not released when I first contacted them - but they got me an autographed copy!!! Nov 06, Andrew Lone rated it it was amazing.

FABEL nightmare come to haunt him over the discovery of missing Monica krones who disappeared 15 years ago after a party. Hamburg's most dangerous serial rapist jochen hubaer Frankenstein who was thought to have taken Monica and killed her escapes high security prison a few days later then disappear's with a state manhunt out for him. A prominent artist is murdered in his studio and linked to Monica through a painting kept hidden from view then another prominent body turns up murdered with Gothic overtures is there a killer out there with vengeance on his mind and can FABEL and his team figure out before another body turns up and how is it all linked to a 15 year old murder.

Craig Russell writes a brilliant story that just flows with a brilliant plot. This is the first novel I have read from this author but won't be the last Feb 20, Bennie rated it really liked it. The quality of writing in this book is superb. Which is a good thing because the initial chapters jump from point of view to point of view, introducing a lot of characters and not making it clear which strands of the story will come together.

My overwhelming enjoyment of the book was spoiled slightly by two things, which may not bother most readers. The first is the number of red-haired women in this book. They seme implausibly common in Altona, and while no doubt this was used byt he author as a The quality of writing in this book is superb. They seme implausibly common in Altona, and while no doubt this was used byt he author as a shorthand for beauty, after the fifth redhead is introduced it gets repetitive. The second problem I had was the twist, which I will not spoil. In my opinion it was flagged too heavily with an extra, unnecessary phrase.

This rather took some of the suspense out of the ongoing search for Monika Krone's killer. However these were made up for by the telling of the story which is excellent. I very much look forward to more from this writer, and more Jan Fabel. Dec 16, Andy Weston rated it really liked it. The story has a number of threads, including near death experiences, zombies and monsters, some of them less relevant to the tale than others.

Jan Fabel is a decent enough detective creation. To create something different, which Fabel therefore isn't, is harder than ever. De resto, foi um livro sempre interessante. Apr 10, Matthew Ogborn rated it it was amazing. Four and a half stars for this tremendous return for one of my favourite crime fiction protagonists Jan Fabel.


We were left waiting many years for the seventh in this superb series and Russell does not disappoint. Fabel has changed and the landscape has changed, but the riveting pacing, plotting and asides thankfully stay the same. This was a free Kindle read, that I mainly downloaded because the cover caught my eye. I'm glad I gave it the chance, I wasn't disappointed. View all 6 comments. Oct 20, Lili Marcus rated it it was amazing Shelves: My first thought was this is a cliche so I didn't read this right after receiving the book.

I thought this is just another pretence relationship that will eventually lead to a real one. There's more to this book than anyone can expect. The characters are great and well-played. Fabrizio and Hanna might not be the most perfect characters but they seemed real. Even physically, they don't seem perfect which is perfectly fine. At first I kind of hate them My first thought was this is a cliche so I didn't read this right after receiving the book. At first I kind of hate them because they're both hardheaded.

But they found their ways to each other. Anyway, the story is about Hanna, a restaurant critic who is never afraid to say what she wants to say, in her critiques or to anyone. She wrote a critique about Fabrizio's restaurant which led to his grandmother's death. But that a little exaggeration. Then if the conflict isn't enough, Hanna accidentally stole his grandmother's urn. Following his grandmother's death, Fabrizio filed a suit against Hanna. Hanna, wanting to keep her job and return thee urn properly, flew to Italy. But what's waiting for her there isn't at all she expected.

This novel is sure one. Oh and I love the recipes at the end of the book. Fantastique The ending is cute. This should've been just three stars but I found the ending so cute so fine, Four stars. Apr 23, Olga Godim rated it liked it Shelves: Hanna is a food journalist, writing for a German magazine.

Her reviews are often biting and highly critical. Fabrizio is an Italian farmer who also owns a trattoria. So Hanna heads to Italy to do The above is ju Hanna is a food journalist, writing for a German magazine. The above is just the beginning of the story. Most of the story is what happens in Italy between Hanna and Fabrizio. I expected so much from this book, I bought it for my Kindle, but I was sadly disappointed.

The story is good. The translation from its original German is excellent. Both stars of this story — Hanna and Fabrizio — are bitter, disillusioned, and generally angry people. Neither of them loves anyone, including themselves. She just writes them the way they are, and I thought: They both would depress me. In addition, they both often behave stupidly, make stupid choices, and say stupid, inadvisable things to each other. I disliked them so much I wanted to abandon the story several times.

I kept reading only because of the humor embedded in the plot. The novel follows both protagonists, as they try to get ahead of each other, reach their respective goals, and simultaneously get to know each other, while remaining angry and bitter. And they fall in love. It defied the logic of the story. See this review in its natural environment, Dani Reviews Things. Apricot Kisses is a great translated contemporary romance novel.

Both characters drove me and each other crazy, but they were made for each other. Throw See this review in its natural environment, Dani Reviews Things. Throw in Italian sunshine, family and food, and you get a cute comfort story to fuel your Mediterranean daydreams. This book was exactly what I needed when I needed it. Found on the Where To Go Global website: I found both Fabrizio and Hanna really annoying at first, both hard in their own ways. Hanna was a reserved German food critic with a reputation for being harsh, while Fabrizio was a closed-off apricot farmer. Also, fair warning, there are a couple heated scenes, but they're not explicit.

I want to say one thing about Hanna that I loved. She was a career woman, and I feel career women are sometimes painted in a negative light. She loved her job, and she was proud of that fact. This really made the book extra special to me, as far too often, we see women give up their friends, jobs and hobbies to be with a man, especially in romance books.

Even in love, Hanna thought about who she was and what was important to her. Mmmm pasta… Of course, this is all theoretical, as I love my space and privacy far too much. But the family in here was wonderful, and I especially loved Lucia. The setting shifted between Germany and Italy. I will admit I partly chose this book because I have a slight obsession with the country and the food.

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How cool is that??? A note on the language and writing style This is a translation from German, and I read another review saying that the translation was bad and stilted and whatnot. I read this review after reading the book, and while I agree that there is something different about the voice, I don't think it was at all a bad translation. In fact, I only realised it was a translation after reading the review!

I think the voice was appropriate given the main female character is German, and it added to the story rather than detracting from it. Look, you know how this is will end, right? Well, the end is really cute if a little unhygenic for my delicate, germaphobe tastes.

I actually wish there was a bit more at the end of the HEA, not just a quick epilogue. Come on , I need my fairytale! While I wasn't blown away — I think it's difficult for contemporaries to do that — I did enjoy this story and am glad I picked it up. Aug 07, Janja rated it liked it.

I'm a bit disappointed with this story. It's odd with almost no chemistry and with humor I don't understand. Well it is now 1. My husband has gone to bed which is unheard of as I am always in bed before him. It was worth the late night. What a fantastic book, I couldn't put it down. Fantastic story and fabulous characters. Do yourselves a favour and buy the book. Nov 28, Aisling Harte rated it it was amazing.

Truly worth a read! It does start off slow but by the end, you are enthralled in the happenings of Hanna and Fabrizio! Ein tolles Buch ich musste echt oft grinsen. Und das ist nicht das schlimmste , durch einen Diebstahl hat Hanna auch noch die Urne der guten Frau eingesteckt. Aber Fabrizio der Enkel der verstorbenen ist nicht gut auf Hanna zu sprechen , er will sie sogar verklagen. Ich kam super in das Buch rein. Das Cover selber passt zum Buch mit den Aprikosen. Nebenbei arbeitet sie als Lektorin und Coach.

Hanna Philip is restaurant critic from Berlin, and her latest review of a restaurant in a peaceful village tucked away in the apricot grove of Tuscan in Italy set off a chain of events which transformed her life. The owner of Tre Camini restaurant, Giuseppa Camini, dies of a fatal heart attack after reading the disparaging and contemptuous review. Reluctantly Hanna set off and soon the half-hearted steps turned into a wholehearted adventure of a lifetime, full of love and hope.

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What immediately attracts one to the story and the setting is the beautiful way in which the fictional village of Montesimo in Italy is portrayed. Claudia Winter leaves nothing to chance and her vivid imagery and description of the place makes you want to go there on a vacation. The description of the apricot fields, the sunrises and sunsets makes the place come alive in your mind.

This fictional village is representative of all the little Italian villages where one finds the hope that everyone yearns for in our hearts. The story is written in alternating chapters from the perspective of Hanna Philip and Fabrizio which enables the reader to gain more insights about the two main characters.

Readers will enjoy the drama, complications and the flowering romance between Hanna and Fabrizio. You will be moved to tears as Apricot Kisses by Claudia Winter is a book that goes to the heart and stays there. Sometimes you need to go with the flow of life. A most delightful and charming book, I strongly recommend Apricot Kisses by Claudia Winter if you have a heart for romance and adventure.

Um zu retten, was zu retten ist, reist Hanna mit der Urne nach Italien. Das Cover ist ein Hingucker und passt wunderbar zum Buch. Allerdings habe ich bei beiden etwas gebraucht um mit ihnen warm zu werden, da gerade von Hanna anfangs mehr die negativen Seiten gezeigt werden. Auch dieses Buch hat ein tolles Cover und ich freue mich schon sehr darauf. Klare Leseempfehlung von mir. Dec 01, Kelley rated it it was amazing Shelves: Novel received courtesy of Goodreads. Hanna is a restaurant critic working out of Berlin. She reviews restaurants all over Europe and is known for her brash yet honest reviews.

She wrote an honest yet scathing review of Tre Camini, a small family run restaurant in Italy. Because the mayor of the village was cooking that night instead of the restaurant being closed as was planned , the food was terrible. Hanna's boss tells her that the magazine is Novel received courtesy of Goodreads. Hanna's boss tells her that the magazine is being sued by the owner and that she must return and make the lawsuit go away.

This novel is so funny! You will definitely catch yourself laughing out loud. There is something hilarious about a grandmother's ashes that won't go back home! I wish I could give this more than 5 stars! Aber ich werde mir die Rezepte herausschreiben, die am Anschluss an die Story verlesen werden, und dann zumindest das kulinarische Feeling weiter auskosten: Hier geht es zu meiner Rezension: Bin in die Geschichte erst nicht gut hineingekommen und mir gefielen Hanna und Fabrizio anfangs nicht. Und dann ging mir zwischenzeitlich alles zu schnell.

Das Setting war aber richtig toll und die Entwicklung der Charaktere hat mir auch gefallen, mit der Zeit wurden mir Beide sympathischer. Dec 31, BelleAugusta added it. Interesting, she goes kelpto under stress? The authors word pictures are scrumptious.