Land of the Blind - Barbara Nadel

Last night I finished reading The Land of the Blind by Barbara Nadel. It's part of a series about a Turkish cop, Ikmen, and his colleagues. I find this series both brilliant and fascinating. It's an opportunity for me to travel without leaving my house.

This particular book starts with a Greek archaeologist being found dead, presumed murdered, inside an ancient Byzantine building. She has recently given birth but the baby is missing.

Soon Ikmen is lead to an old Greek house with an old woman, her likewise old Turkish servant and a younger man who is supposedly her formerly lost son returned after forty years from abroad.

At the same time, a motley crew of gays, lesbians, trans people, Muslims against Capitalism and an assortment of others, have gathered in a park in Istanbul to protect it from developers. For a while it becomes almost like a carnival, but then the police gathers - and that's not the educated Istanbul police, but what are referred to as young men coming from 'some nameless hole' on the Turkish/Anatolian mainland. Barely literate, they are loyal to the Islamic regime and are looking forward to clearing out the progressives.

Unfortunately for Ikmen he has a trans cousin and a son in the park and his new sergeant has a sister who as a nurse finds it hard to leave people at the protest, as long as they need her.

Many fascinating characters come to life in this book, and a number of old mysteries are dug up.

This is a well written, fascinating book which makes it clear that the author knows Turkey extremely well and has the ability to make it come alive for the reader. I'd definitely recommend it to someone who enjoys a good mystery with many historical facts.