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In Her Blood (A Catherine Berlin Novel #1)

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3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Everyone is hooked on something.

It's not that easy to kick the money habit. After the world meltdown forces London's bankers to go cold turkey, people look elsewhere for a quick quid: the old fashioned East End.

So when investigator Catherine Berlin gets an anonymous tip-off about a local loan shark, the case seems straightforward – until her informant is found floating in
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Paperback, 261 pages
Published 2012 by Penguin
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Angela Savage
‘Everyone is hooked on something,’ says the back cover blurb of Annie Hauxwell’s debut novel In Her Blood. I quickly became hooked on this novel.

That said, I don’t believe the back cover blurb does it justice. Hauxwell herself offers a more compelling synopsis in an author Q&A on the Penguin website:

‘Catherine Berlin, an investigator with a financial regulator, finds the almost-headless body of her informant in a shallow reach of the Thames. The death is linked to Berlin’s investigation of a
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Michael
Catherine Berlin is not your average investigator. Not only does she not work for the cops but she is also a heroin user who relies on a controversial doctor for her supplies. Her current case seems straightforward investigating dodgy dealing by a local loan shark Doyle until her informant is found dead floating in Limehouse Basin. Berlin is convinced the killer is Doyle only to find out thanks to local police that Berlin's informant is infact Doyle's daughter Gina.

In another part of town Berlin
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Jo
To be perfectly honest, if it wasn't for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, I would have stopped reading after the first 30 pages.

It is not only that I am not a big fan of noir, although that didn't help. The main characters are depressed and hopeless. Their world - London in a particularly cold winter, in the depths of the GFC - is bleak. Doom seems to be nigh. I know it's all part of the genre, but it just doesn't do that much for me.

What really made it difficult for me to keep reading w
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Karen
Whilst it's not particularly unusual to have a flawed central protagonist, unapologetic ones are less common. Add being female, and that makes IN HER BLOOD's Catherine Berlin a rather rare beast, and a very welcome one.

Set in London after the Global Financial meltdown, Berlin is a government investigator who receives a tip-off about a local loan shark, then finds her informant floating in the Limehouse Basin, brutally killed. The first complication is that her female informant has been anonymous
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Deb Bodinnar
I have heard Annie talk at a couple of Sisters In Crime events and decided to give her novels a go. Most of the books I have read this year have all been set in Australia, so this one obviously took me to a part of the world I don't know at all. I felt Catherine Berlin was a strange character to get to know but I did warm to her mid way through the book. Interesting plot with interwoven characters made for a great read. Will be following up In Her Blood by reading A Bitter Taste next.
MaryG2E
I found it hard to get into this book at the start. There is a swirl of characters introduced in a somewhat random way and I had to keep turning back pages to figure out who was connected to whom and in what way.

The somewhat diffident character of the main protagonist, Catherine Berlin, is rather sketchily portrayed, and I found it hard to warm to her. The author describes her as 55, thin, with greying hair. We learn that she works as a civilian investigator in the Financial Services Agency and
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Joan
Somewhat entertaining, but I never warmed to any of the characters.

And while it could be amusing, I just felt the author could not make up her mind what kind of book she wanted it to be, so if came off half-baked as comic and as a mystery and as a comic mystery.
Lauren Murphy
In Her Blood is the crime fiction debut of Aussie author, Annie Hauxwell. Interestingly, the protagonist Catherine Berlin is an investigator leading a double-life as a heroin addict. Set in London during tough economic times, loan sharks are on the rise and one in particular becomes the subject of Berlin’s investigations. But things become more serious, more dangerous when one of her informants is found dead and the death is linked to loan shark, Archie Doyle. A second body is then linked to Ber ...more
Rachael
Interesting to have an investigator who is also a registered heroin addict. A continual theme throughout as she has to weigh up getting heroin or getting/giving information. A good mystery with quite a lot of people getting beaten up and/or murdered along the way and many varied relationships between the characters that they don't know about until a good way through. I will read the next one.
Mary
Ok, but I didn't find it a gripping read. I had a problem with the lead character. Whilst she was clearly intelligent, she lacked insight and was somewhat annoying.
Margareth8537
Enjoyed this. Well read. Very unusual main protagonist, and remembered a lot of the East End locations.
Jess
I enjoyed the story and really like Catherine Berlin. I got a bit distracted tho and not too sure what didn't exactly have me riveted to my seat, but am looking forward to another one in the series.
Calzean
A good crime novel, with a few twists and turns, many flawed characters and many secrets uncovered.

Berlin, the main character, finds herself in the middle of a series of murders. The thing that annoyed me in this book was that the main characters all were connected through living in the same neighbourhood, marriage or paternally - maybe one or two less of these overt relationships could have made the story a more believable tale.

Chava
Boooooooring. Unlikable characters and just too hard to connect with. I couldn't get into this book at all.
Jane
I'm not a big reader of crime fiction - Raymond Chandler and Peter Temple are really as far as I've gone - and this hasn't really pitched me headlong into a crime addiction. But it was fun: cracking pace, interesting characters, convoluted plot (perhaps too convoluted?) and a great setting, with London tumbling from the top of its game into bankruptcy and debt.
Becky
This was a fast-paced story of life on the dark side with a female protagonist with faults and a heroin addiction. Some of the other-side-of-the-pond vocabulary gave me a bit of a challenge, but it was good fun. I wish I had found time to read it earlier, but I'll get on Annie Hauxwell's next book right away.
Bronwyn
I love a good crime novel. This first novel by an author now resident in Australia, is a good one. There are all sorts of interesting characters and a great feel for the social dynamics of London when the ecomony is not going well.
Anne
The premise of this story is very interesting. I think it wrapped up a bit more neatly than I would have liked, but the things left open leave me wanting more. A quick page turner excellent for a weekend away.
Cel Jel
I would not have picked this book in a bookshop, but my book club selected it. I am glad they did because it was a gripping read. I did not like the violence but it was appropriate for the story.
Ari Karishma Dewi
A neat and fabulous crime story bye Annie in her first book
Beeing common in this field (crime) Annie seems really know how to brough us to a dangerous and anxiety feeling on the crime scene.

Cathy
A gritty sort of book. Not a bad read and unusual to have a heroin addict as the main character.
Marg
finished book club book with more than 24 hours to go. What's that about.?
Amanda Currie
Didn't finish this book, got bored. Reading her next book.
schnoozan
schnoozan is currently reading it
Jun 27, 2015
Courtney
Courtney marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2015
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Annie Hauxwell was born in East London and grew up there and in Melbourne, Australia. Her working life has included stints as a psychiatric nurse, cleaner, sociologist, taxi driver and lawyer.

Annie abandoned the law to work as an investigator, an occupation she has happily pursued for twenty years.

She lives in Castlemaine, a small country town in Australia, when not in London.

She is a keen sailor
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More about Annie Hauxwell...

Other Books in the Series

A Catherine Berlin Novel (3 books)
  • A Bitter Taste
  • A Morbid Habit
A Bitter Taste A Morbid Habit Bittere Schuld In Her Blood (Catherine Berlin 1) A Cryptic Death

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