A Killing Winter

A Killing Winter (Inspector Akyl Borubaev #1) - Tom Callaghan 'The Kyrgyz winter reminds us that the past is never dead, simply waiting to ambush us around the next corner'.

When Inspector Akyl Borubaev of Bishkek Murder Squad arrives at the brutal murder scene of a young woman, all evidence hints at a sadistic serial killer on the hunt for more prey.

But when the young woman's father turns out to be a leading government minister, the pressure is on Borubaev to solve the case not only quickly but also quietly, by any means possible. Until more bodies are found...

Still in mourning after his wife's recent death, Borubaev descends into Bishkek's brutal underworld, a place where no-one and nothing is as it seems, where everyone is playing for the highest stakes, and where violence is the only solution.

I love a book that makes me immediately open Google Maps!

Set in former Soviet Union state Kyrgyzstan its follows Inspector Akyl Borubaev as he tries to solve the brutal murders of several women whilst still mourning his wife's death 3 months earlier. Kyrgyzstan is unforgiving and pitiless, a country seemingly drowning in corruption, drugs, alcohol and violence. The casual misogyny is horrific and unrelenting.

Descriptions of a dark brutal winter in Bishkek are so vivid you can hear the snow crunch under your boots. The characters are so well drawn, even minor ones are well fleshed out, you really care about what might happen to them in this lawless city where anything can happen to anyone.

Borubaev's dead wife haunts the pages of the book and centres him bringing an emotional balance to the story “I wanted to think of her as an unseen presence, spurring me on, watching from the sidelines”

I read a good number of thrillers and a lot are forgettable but this was so original and so beautifully written it will stay with me for a long time I think....