BABEL is set in the south east of London, around a former polytechnic, now the University of East London, in Docklands. The brutal murder of the university's professor of philosophy is headline news and DCI Brock is brought in to investigate. The university campus is home to many students drawn from the large and varied ethnic communities of south east London. When it becomes clear that the motive for murder may be political and the murderer a Muslim, the public is outraged. Following her terrifying experiences in SILVERMEADOW, DC Kathy Kolla is on leave, so burned out that she's considering leaving the force for good. But you can't keep a good detective down and soon she's on the phone to Brock asking to be put on the case ...The construction of this detailed, intricate plot is a joy - as ingenious as Colin Dexter. It's a complex, rich and intelligent novel and will surely bring Brock and Kolla to a wider, appreciative readership.
- Hardback | 288 pages
- 164 x 234 x 34mm | 580.61g
- 05 Sep 2002
- Orion Publishing Co
- London, United Kingdom
"Survivors were still being discovered beneath the ruins of demolished shelters, and all of the effort was going into finding them." Babel is eerily prescient of the 11 September tragedy, both in mood and details. A philosophy professor is assassinated and DCI Brock, with DS Kathy Kolla, investigate Muslim extremists and the university's Centre of Advanced Biotechnology. We are in familiar Maitland territory, characteristically set in and around depressed urban settings (the previous novel Silvermeadow involved a vast shopping mall). As a pairing they are fast becoming one of the most notable duos in modern crime fiction. Babel is one of their better outings, dark and intricate. If this type of downbeat story has appealed to the reader before, then it will again, as will Maitland's growing skill as a storyteller.
About Barry Maitland
Barry Maitland was born in Scotland and brought up in London. After studying architecture at Cambridge, he practised and taught in the UK before moving to Australia where he is Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle.