The Blameless Dead
In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the carnage and detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them...As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years.And so it is, as post-war Europe tries desperately to drag itself back onto its feet, and soldiers attempt a return to normality, that retribution continues to ferment in the Gulags of the Soviet Union and beneath the surface of apparently ordinary lives.Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past — even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.The Blameless Dead is an epic, compelling, edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps the reader from twentieth century Europe to modern-day New York, taking in some of the most important events of modern history and exposing them in honest and unflinching terms. Part murder-mystery, part historical novel and shot through with adrenaline-pumping action, this novel superbly demonstrates that, while the hostilities may cease and the peace be signed, the horror that is war is never really over.

The Blameless Dead Details

TitleThe Blameless Dead
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 1st, 2019
PublisherEndeavour Quill
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, War, World War II

The Blameless Dead Review

  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    Revenge takes many forms, and in ‘The Blameless Dead’ the horrors and atrocities carried out in WWII become the basis for acts of revenge unlike any that I’ve ever read about before.Berlin 1945, and in the dying days of WWII, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues make a most gruesome discovery among the remains of a German bunker. These men have seen sights, and experienced things that no man should have to, but what they find among the smouldering ruins, shocks even these hardened soldiers. Revenge takes many forms, and in ‘The Blameless Dead’ the horrors and atrocities carried out in WWII become the basis for acts of revenge unlike any that I’ve ever read about before.Berlin 1945, and in the dying days of WWII, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues make a most gruesome discovery among the remains of a German bunker. These men have seen sights, and experienced things that no man should have to, but what they find among the smouldering ruins, shocks even these hardened soldiers.2015, and FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall join forces to investigate a series of blood chilling crimes - the common thread being that they all point to the dark and distant days of WWII. For Gabriel it all gets a little too personal, when it becomes clear that his missing niece may be the next victim!From the desolation and despair of WWII to the present day, author Gary Haynes uses dual timelines as he demonstrates how psychological damage, and simmering revenge, can bring about the most vile and disturbing acts of violence, and believe me, it doesn’t make for an easy read.Wow! Where do I start? We have characters with secrets from the past, but you can’t run away from secrets, they’re like shadows, they follow you wherever you go, and one of these secrets carries with it the desire for retribution, regardless of the passing of time. This is a truly cracking read, but I have to point out that there were graphic descriptions of torture (some of which I had to skim through) but this was such an exceptionally well written novel, with a plot that ensured my attention never wavered - in addition the historical detail increased my enjoyment of it. This novel is something of a pit bull, once it has you in its grasp, no matter how hard you’re shaken, it won’t let go!*My thanks to Endeavour Quill for sending me a paperback copy in exchange for an honest unbiased review *
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  • Whispering Stories
    January 1, 1970
    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.comWe begin our journey in April 1945 in the dying days of WW2 in Berlin. Pavel Romasko is trying to get his squad of Red Army men to safety but with a lone sniper to contend with and the Waffen-SS approaching he needs somewhere off the street for them to lie low for a little while. Noticing a steel door Pavel leads his men into what he had hoped was a safe building but they were not prepared for what they found inside.New York 2015, Special Agent Carla Rom Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.comWe begin our journey in April 1945 in the dying days of WW2 in Berlin. Pavel Romasko is trying to get his squad of Red Army men to safety but with a lone sniper to contend with and the Waffen-SS approaching he needs somewhere off the street for them to lie low for a little while. Noticing a steel door Pavel leads his men into what he had hoped was a safe building but they were not prepared for what they found inside.New York 2015, Special Agent Carla Romero and lawyer Gabriel Hall are thrown together to investigate a series of gruesome crimes, crimes that ordinary people wouldn’t be able to comprehend and would turn your stomach. Their investigation leads them to a trail of days gone by, WW2. Events take a turn for the worse when a close family member goes missing, can this rookie FBI agent and lawyer really solve a case that has been in the planning for 70 years?The book is an exhilarating ride moving back and forth in time between 1945 and 2015. Hard to imagine that revenge could wait 70 years, but that is the case here. Gary Haynes takes us on a journey through a time that was ravaged by war and places you firmly in the mix with his historical accuracy and descriptions so real you can smell the scent of death.This isn’t a book for the squeamish or those that don’t like reading about war and the atrocities it brings as the author doesn’t mince his words about what happened or the scenes he brings before you. This is a book that will show you the harsh reality.The plot is one that I can only describe as extraordinary, how someone has the mind to come up with something so clever and yet so sinister is incredible. I was hooked from the very first page and didn’t want to put it down, I wanted to follow the trail every step of the way.If you like action-packed thrillers that are dark in nature and are not fazed by brutal scenes then this is the book for you.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    The Blameless Dead…when I first try to categorize the genre I hit a wall thinking it’s in a league of its own, and it absolutely is, but it also reminded me of Andrew Gross’ historical thrillers. It’s rooted in history with plenty of tension, action, and drama, with a present day storyline as well. It keeps you guessing and completely on the edge of your seat! I almost wobbled off a time or two in shock! So what’s it all about?In a nutshell, when World War Two is wrapping up, Pavel Romasko and h The Blameless Dead…when I first try to categorize the genre I hit a wall thinking it’s in a league of its own, and it absolutely is, but it also reminded me of Andrew Gross’ historical thrillers. It’s rooted in history with plenty of tension, action, and drama, with a present day storyline as well. It keeps you guessing and completely on the edge of your seat! I almost wobbled off a time or two in shock! So what’s it all about?In a nutshell, when World War Two is wrapping up, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army cohort are in Berlin where they find something in a Nazi bunker that shocks them beyond any of the other atrocities they’d witnessed to that point. As we all know, there was a path to retribution for the Nazis, but some things take a long, long time, including revenge and retaliation. Seventy years later, Carla Romero is an FBI agent, and working alongside Gabriel Hall, a lawyer in New York, the pair are to investigate a set of crimes that have deep roots. Roots that may go back to WWII. The next victim may be very close to home…someone in Gabriel’s family, so the investigation becomes much more personal. I have to mention there are graphic torture scenes. Nothing is sugar-coated. The harsh realities of war are handled with authenticity. That said, this book is outstandingly executed. I was riveted quite early, and the story never let me go. The history only made me love the story all the more. Overall, The Blameless Dead is a captivating, well-written book with an immersive, clever plot…I am left feeling astounded, and I’m going to miss the pull this book had on me! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    Switching frequently between Berlin in 1945 and New York in 2015, the author has taken a story of wartime atrocities and combined it with a contemporary crime mystery to create an action-packed thriller which, at time, explores some dark places and features some pretty depraved individuals.Man’s inhumanity to man is a key theme of the book and how that can result in a desire for revenge and retribution lasting for years and which may be passed down through generations. I was reminded of a quote Switching frequently between Berlin in 1945 and New York in 2015, the author has taken a story of wartime atrocities and combined it with a contemporary crime mystery to create an action-packed thriller which, at time, explores some dark places and features some pretty depraved individuals.Man’s inhumanity to man is a key theme of the book and how that can result in a desire for revenge and retribution lasting for years and which may be passed down through generations. I was reminded of a quote from a book I recently read – Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson – about the effect of the horrors of the slave trade on those who participated in that evil practice. ‘It’s the trade that does it to them. Deadens the goodness in the soul’. There’s certainly little goodness in the soul of many of the characters in The Blameless Dead. Just the opposite, in fact.From the scenes set in 1945 Berlin, it’s clear the author has been meticulous in his research with detailed descriptions of weaponry, uniforms and military units. The turbulent history of Kalmykia in southern Russia and its distinctive culture, which is so pivotal to events in The Blameless Dead, was new to me. In fact, I’ll admit I’d never heard of the region before reading this book.In the book description, the publishers mention that the book exposes events of modern history in ‘honest and unflinching terms’. I won’t disagree. Readers should be aware that the book contains references to wartime atrocities and to torture and abuse, including that of women and children. There are brief descriptions of violence and torture.Part crime mystery, part historical novel, The Blameless Dead is a skilfully constructed thriller that nevertheless delves into some dark and, at times, disturbing subject matter. As the publishers say, the book demonstrates that, while hostilities may cease, the horror of war is never really over and that it leaves a lasting legacy on those involved.
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  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    The Blameless Dead begins with what looks like a home invasion, when a husband and wife are found murdered in their apartment in New York. The FBI quite quickly zero in on a suspect but while this person may not be talking, it soon becomes obvious there is something far more sinister going on. Something which has its roots firmly planted at the end of the second World War.Thus begins a journey through the ages. This is quite a complex storyline that requires a fair bit of concentration. There ar The Blameless Dead begins with what looks like a home invasion, when a husband and wife are found murdered in their apartment in New York. The FBI quite quickly zero in on a suspect but while this person may not be talking, it soon becomes obvious there is something far more sinister going on. Something which has its roots firmly planted at the end of the second World War.Thus begins a journey through the ages. This is quite a complex storyline that requires a fair bit of concentration. There are a number of characters to keep track of, spread out over various countries and decades. There’s also a rather high body count with plenty of murders along the way, none of which are pleasant.The Blameless Dead brings to light the horrors of war and how someone is after revenge, even after seventy years. Because some things just can’t be forgotten and events from the past have, shall we say, “inspired” a serial killer throughout the years. And this character is going to great lengths to make sure his secrets remain hidden.What we have here is an incredibly dark and disturbing topic with a few pretty graphic scenes thrown in, which may not appeal to everyone. I found it quite unsettling at times. The plot is well executed though and is full of historical details. It took me quite a while to figure out how the pieces of the puzzle fit together and I felt rather smug when I put two and two together, only to have Gary Haynes throw in a delicious sting in the tale.Part murder mystery and part historical fiction, Gary Haynes takes us from the ashes of late war Berlin to the modern setting of New York, showing the impact the atrocities of war can have on a person and while the war may have been over a long time ago, its legacy lasts forever.
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  • The Lit Bitch
    January 1, 1970
    I think that a lot of people feel that the war ended on VE Day in 1945, but it wasn’t like VE Day came and suddenly everyone put down their arms and went about rebuilding their lives rebuilding everything.That is the reason this book caught my eye. This book is set in the final days of WWII there Red Army makes its way through a dying Nazi Germany….I thought this book had a lot of historic potential that would be interesting and new for me. Plus it sounded like it was going to look at how the ra I think that a lot of people feel that the war ended on VE Day in 1945, but it wasn’t like VE Day came and suddenly everyone put down their arms and went about rebuilding their lives rebuilding everything.That is the reason this book caught my eye. This book is set in the final days of WWII there Red Army makes its way through a dying Nazi Germany….I thought this book had a lot of historic potential that would be interesting and new for me. Plus it sounded like it was going to look at how the ramification of war would be felt throughout the generations.In some ways I thought it was going to be more of a mystery novel, it definitely had mystery component but it ended up containing a lot more history than I anticipated and it was that history that shined in the novel for me.This summary was right in that it was an epic novel that packs a major punch in the history department. There was so much historical ground covered in this book and the author should be commended on his research. The history part was interesting and new to me and I was never bored with the material at all.That said, I thought there was some difficult content that readers should be aware of. There are graphic descriptions of torture to women and children, snuff films etc and for me they were at times difficult to read. I think this was a bold move on the writer’s account, this book was clearly meant to be an upfront look at war and the darker side of human nature. It wasn’t meant to be a rose colored novel about war, but rather an in your face look at the true victims of war and what men did to innocents in the name of war.This is not a book that I think would appeal to a wide audience, but perhaps rather a specialized one. This is a book that is meant for fans of historic thrillers with a dark side. For me, I thought it was bold and I appreciated the complexity of the story with the timeline spanning decades. I loved how the author linked the past and present and that it doesn’t just stop at the end of the war. It looks at the ramification of that war and how if continued to impact generations. I thought this was brilliant and well done.But like I said, I think that this kind of book will appeal to a certain reader and not others. I felt that the boldness of the topic was enough for me to give it a 4 star rating, but I know that others might find this book disturbing or unlikeable. It will take some concentration and is a slower read to digest, but over all I thought it was bold and well done.See my full review here
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  • Paul Gitsham
    January 1, 1970
    Gary Haynes latest thriller takes us from the mud and despair of the final throes of the second world war, to the gleaming skyscrapers of the 21st century, and shows us that 70 years is nothing when it comes to revenge.Haynes skilfully weaves the tragedies of those killed in humanity’s worst atrocity with the modern day tragedy of a missing child. Packed full of historical detail, yet never over-burdened, Haynes is as comfortable amongst the ashes of 1945 as he is in the digital world of today.
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  • Fredrick Danysh
    January 1, 1970
    With a story split between World War II and the present, this dark thriller explores the world of torture and snuff films. When a wealthy man and his wife are murdered for possession of a snuff film, a lawyer and an FBI agent team up to identify the victim in the film. People will kill to keep their secrets. This was a free advance read review copy with excellent writing.
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  • Alan Bardos
    January 1, 1970
    On first appearances The Blameless Dead comes across as a classic thriller in the same vein as John Grisham or Thomas Harris, but Gary Haynes subverts the genre creating something altogether different. The story moves between 2015 and the immediate post war period, combining multiple story lines and characters, which all lead back to events that took place on the Eastern Front in World War II.The central character is Gabriel Hall a corporate lawyer, who has a very personal reason for wanting to On first appearances The Blameless Dead comes across as a classic thriller in the same vein as John Grisham or Thomas Harris, but Gary Haynes subverts the genre creating something altogether different. The story moves between 2015 and the immediate post war period, combining multiple story lines and characters, which all lead back to events that took place on the Eastern Front in World War II.The central character is Gabriel Hall a corporate lawyer, who has a very personal reason for wanting to find a macabre serial killer and leaving his safe life joins forces with Carla Romero, an FBI agent. Their investigation takes them on a chilling journey that connects the judicial punishments of ancient Tibet with the atrocities committed on the steppe of Southern Russia. In a bitter war fought between Kalmykia tribes men, recruited into the Waffen SS, and Russian partisans in World War II. In many instances men from the same communities were fighting on either side.The book traces how the war and trauma in general effects people, the horror of an event resonating in the consciousness of the person who lived through it. The novel explores this on a personal level, with the need to know what has happened to loved ones and the need for revenge or justice. The Blameless Dead takes this to the very extreme. Where the people who want justice become the same or worse than the people who committed the crimes. As a result you often have no idea what’s going to happen, as anything could happen. The characters are capable of anything. This results in some pretty gruesome scenes, which are deftly underwritten and leave the worst to the reader’s imagination.Gary Haynes has a talent for making a reader feel permanently on edge. He writes lyrically and compassionately, even when portraying the very worst in human nature; empathising with a character’s actions or motivations without agreeing with or validating them.This is a long book, with a number of characters that have multiple story and timelines, but you always feel that the writer is in control of the narrative, drawing all the various strands together in a satisfying conclusion. Overall this is a very gripping thriller that educates and entertains. My only minor criticism is that I would like to have seen a historical note that talks more about the partisan war on the steppe and some book recommendations, as my interest was piqued.
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  • Stefanie Rls
    January 1, 1970
    – ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog (https://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com/) is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –‘The Blameless Dead’ is the first book I’ve read written by Gary Haynes and I’m very impressed with this author.I mean, he definitely must have spent a huge amount of time in research for this book.It’s not only full of facts about WWII, bu – ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog (https://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com/) is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –‘The Blameless Dead’ is the first book I’ve read written by Gary Haynes and I’m very impressed with this author.I mean, he definitely must have spent a huge amount of time in research for this book.It’s not only full of facts about WWII, but also about different cultures, the FBI, other police stuff, even in Europe, weapons, … .Then there were all these characters too.Unbelievable … and all equally interesting in my opinion.I must admit I’ve learned a lot whilst reading.The author got me flabbergasted in a way.I can’t comprehend how he didn’t get lost in the plot whilst writing since it not only jumps between different people, but also different time periods and different world parts (Europe to America) every couple of chapters.We even visit Belgium, albeit not with fun facts about my home country!So congratulations are certainly in order in my opinion as I can’t say there were many mistakes in the story.I, for one, just found two and they weren’t that significant in the whole book, just a bit confusing.What’s more to say?I found it a very great read, even though it’s one you need to focus on a great deal.You definitely have to sit down comfortably and take your time to savor every word.However, because of this, I’m afraid this book won’t be for everyone.Not only is there a hell of a lot information you need to go through, absorb,…, but there are also a lot of bodies.It can be unsettling for some I believe, especially when it gets a bit graphic.Even so, for me it was just a perfect read as I love to learn more whilst reading, enjoy to puzzle the pieces together, … .But what’s more, I still like to be surprised at the end.I guess, for me, Gary Haynes did this and so much more.‘The Blameless Dead’ is therefore certainly more than a recommendable read!The Magic Of Wor(l)ds
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  • Jo Barton
    January 1, 1970
    Towards the end of WW2 Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues make a dreadful discovery, and, even though they have witnessed many atrocities, the horror of what they discover in a Nazi bunker, in Berlin, shocks them.In 2015 FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall investigate a series of crimes which seem, on further investigation, to have their origins in events which happened over 70 years ago.Cleverly combining the dark and deadly secrets of the past with something which is Towards the end of WW2 Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues make a dreadful discovery, and, even though they have witnessed many atrocities, the horror of what they discover in a Nazi bunker, in Berlin, shocks them.In 2015 FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall investigate a series of crimes which seem, on further investigation, to have their origins in events which happened over 70 years ago.Cleverly combining the dark and deadly secrets of the past with something which is happening in the here and now and you have all the ingredients of a really complex thriller. There are instances where the story is quite graphic and the narrative doesn’t shy away from exposing some dreadful atrocities, however, what it also does is cleverly link the terror of the past with a complicated revenge driven modern day mystery.The author writes well and keeps control of a complicated plot with skill, and a fine eye for detail. However, The Blameless Dead isn’t an easy read, and it took me a while to put all the people and the different places into context. There’s a dark and visceral quality to the narrative which combined with the complexity of the plot, particularly the two different time frames, makes for an interesting and complex thriller.
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is an incredibly brutal read. Gary's writing technique is distinctive and rather unusual. At times blunt and cold, yet there was also incredibly beautiful descriptive passages which stood out amongst the dark story line. This style, I think, reflects the subject matter brilliantly. I found it an incredibly stirring read and quite difficult at times. It shocked me. The horrors arose from the outset and it wasn't an easy ride but was nonetheless incredibly gripping.There are so many lay This novel is an incredibly brutal read. Gary's writing technique is distinctive and rather unusual. At times blunt and cold, yet there was also incredibly beautiful descriptive passages which stood out amongst the dark story line. This style, I think, reflects the subject matter brilliantly. I found it an incredibly stirring read and quite difficult at times. It shocked me. The horrors arose from the outset and it wasn't an easy ride but was nonetheless incredibly gripping.There are so many layers to this novel and the story is built gradually, moving back and forth through different timelines. Characters damaged by the most heinous of acts that ricochet through generations, culminating in an explosive, emotional ending. Violence breeds violence and you wonder where it can ever end. Not for the feint-hearted but an important exploration of the effects of extreme trauma.
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  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    Very, very good. It took me awhile to complete " The Blameless Dead" and that was all down to the subject matter being so interesting that I have increase my knowledge of such diverse subjects as Tibetan history and culture, Buddhism, Kalmyk history, the fall of Berlin and the WW2 campaigns in the southern steppes. I should really attach a bibliography.The book was engrossing and despite the many times I went off at a tangent, I found it difficult to put down, with the short chapters flowing int Very, very good. It took me awhile to complete " The Blameless Dead" and that was all down to the subject matter being so interesting that I have increase my knowledge of such diverse subjects as Tibetan history and culture, Buddhism, Kalmyk history, the fall of Berlin and the WW2 campaigns in the southern steppes. I should really attach a bibliography.The book was engrossing and despite the many times I went off at a tangent, I found it difficult to put down, with the short chapters flowing into each other.My only observation being that the quality of the historical chapters seemed a little more interesting than the present day ones, hence the four rather than five stars.Excellent work Mr Haynes and highly recommended.
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  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come with Love Books Blog. LOVED it
  • Yvonne
    January 1, 1970
    The synopsis does a really great job of describing this book. It’s a story that starts at the end of WWII and finished 70 years later.I found this to be a complex story and one that took me a little longer to read than usual for a book this length. It has two main timelines, with the appearance of a couple of others as well, these additional ones are very relevant to the story. The main timelines have been expanded on so it is not just a basic then and now. At the start of each chapter. It is ob The synopsis does a really great job of describing this book. It’s a story that starts at the end of WWII and finished 70 years later.I found this to be a complex story and one that took me a little longer to read than usual for a book this length. It has two main timelines, with the appearance of a couple of others as well, these additional ones are very relevant to the story. The main timelines have been expanded on so it is not just a basic then and now. At the start of each chapter. It is obvious where you are as they start with the date and then through the rest of the chapter I was taken to different characters, subchapters if you like, and these began with the same day or the next day. This may sound a little confusing, but it really wasn’t, I always knew where and when I was.The plot is one that I am struggling to define as such as I found there were many plots, but they also had a link. There are those from the past that have revenge to them and the more recent one is more about the discovery of the truth. The hints and what links everything gradually becomes more clear as the story goes on. The story is of human tragedy with the origins being in the past. It tells of wanting justice and the sense of what justice is depends on the relevant person. Revenge is also mixed in as well as a hunt for a missing girl. This leads to a very dark discovery.There is a lot of historical detail in this book, it delves into the murky world of Secret Police, Russian and German involvement with political prisoners. While I am aware of secret police and their roles I am not that knowledgable about the numerous departments, but I did get the feeling that the author does know a lot or he has done a good deal of research.This story is intense and shows the lengths people can and are willing to go. Revenge and guilt, as well as the road to truth, are definitely in play with this story.This for me was a complex and intense story, it did require concentration and I did enjoy it. It took me a while to get the basics settled in my head and once that was sorted and I was then able to settle into the book a lot more and found it was quite a compelling read. If you like intense, dark crime thriller reads then I think this is one that you would enjoy, it has WWII atrocities, Russian and German Secret Police, that is a mix of murder/ mystery and historical fiction. It is one I would recommend.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    The Blameless Dead, by Gary Haynes, gives new meaning to “revenge is a dish better served cold.” Revenge is the only motive for the serial killer in this fast paced historical thriller. Yet, the story is so much more. I found it to be an intense and intriguing ride through the darker side of humanity. The book starts with what appears to be a robbery gone wrong but turns into so much more. When one of the suspects leads an attorney, Gabriel Hall who is representing him, to make connections to hi The Blameless Dead, by Gary Haynes, gives new meaning to “revenge is a dish better served cold.” Revenge is the only motive for the serial killer in this fast paced historical thriller. Yet, the story is so much more. I found it to be an intense and intriguing ride through the darker side of humanity. The book starts with what appears to be a robbery gone wrong but turns into so much more. When one of the suspects leads an attorney, Gabriel Hall who is representing him, to make connections to his missing niece, Sangmu, the darker side of this story starts to unfold. It is not long before Gabriel connects the dots between this crime and a string of missing girls. Once he has put two and two together he races to find the killer in hopes that he will also find Sungmu. This book brings to the forefront the true horrors of war by not only addressing the horrors themselves and what humans are capable of doing to others but also the fallout of their actions. I do believe that in this instance the killer is insane, as in the case of Ted Bundy, he was able to hide it for years. In fact, I can see a lot of parallels to Ted Bundy and wonder if the author took some inspiration from his story. The plot is fast paced and the story line exciting and believable. The author did a good job in researching the underlying facts though I know the story is entirely fictional. I have not read much about the aftermath of WWII especially as it relates to Russia; therefore, I found that part fascinating. The plot was well done and is complex in places. This is one that you will have to pay attention or you will miss an important element.The only negative is I never really got to know the characters in a way that allowed me to connect with them. This happens sometimes in plot driven stories and is the main reason I rated it four stars instead of five.I actually found the story difficult to read because of the subject matter. I feel this book is geared more towards a male audience. Therefore, I am recommending it to those readers who like dark, intense thrillers. I think that historical thrillers readers who don’t mind graphic violence and enjoy a fast paced historical thriller will also enjoy this one.I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.For more of my reviews, and author interviews, see my blog at www.thespineview.com.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I have read many books that take place around the end of WW2 but never one that concerns Russia and Germany. And never one that showed the level of brutality that occurred frequently. It made my blood run cold. It wasn’t just the physical cruelty, it was also the mental abuse. Especially in the 1950s, when you saw how prisoners were treated in the Russian camps.There are many characters across this dual time frame novel. I managed to follow them quite well but I did find the various ranks and gr I have read many books that take place around the end of WW2 but never one that concerns Russia and Germany. And never one that showed the level of brutality that occurred frequently. It made my blood run cold. It wasn’t just the physical cruelty, it was also the mental abuse. Especially in the 1950s, when you saw how prisoners were treated in the Russian camps.There are many characters across this dual time frame novel. I managed to follow them quite well but I did find the various ranks and groups confusing and had to read back a few times. The author does a very good job of showing that the atrocities committed in the war still had an impact for some in the modern day. The acts mentioned were not those that took place in the Nazi camps. Instead it was the ethnic cleansing that took part in areas across Europe. It is books like that has me wanting to know more.Whilst it was difficult to read at times I did prefer to read the events from during the war. I felt that the author had done extensive research and I think people do need to know what occurred. I couldn’t work out how the two time frames connected, when it was eventually revealed I felt saddened and stunned.
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  • Carrie Jones
    January 1, 1970
    This is a gory, unsettling and extremely graphic novel.The story is strong and complicated, it has obviously been thoroughly researched, revealing shocking facts, making it an uncomfortable read.I found the constantly changing point of view in earlier chapters confusing, but appreciated that this time movement was needed to develop the back story.It certainly kept my attention, even though I did not feel that characters were developed so that I felt a strong connection with them. There was certa This is a gory, unsettling and extremely graphic novel.The story is strong and complicated, it has obviously been thoroughly researched, revealing shocking facts, making it an uncomfortable read.I found the constantly changing point of view in earlier chapters confusing, but appreciated that this time movement was needed to develop the back story.It certainly kept my attention, even though I did not feel that characters were developed so that I felt a strong connection with them. There was certainly plenty of suspense and right up to the final chapter, I really was not sure of the outcome. I feel this thriller has all the ingredients for a stomach churning film, to be watched through your fingers!Thank you Endeavour Quill for my copy of this novelwww.boozybookworm.com
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  • Salome G
    January 1, 1970
    Boy, you'd think this would be right up my alley, but I really wasn't a huge fan. There was just too much detail--excessive detail--that it made the book less a story and more a recitation of facts. It could have used another pass by an editor, to tighten up the story and zap those pesky typos (salvia instead of saliva in someone's mouth, for example).
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  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    Totally confusing! Could not finish.
  • Gary Haynes
    January 1, 1970
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