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Babel (Brock & Kolla #6)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  270 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Scotland Yard's brilliant crime-solving duo, Kathy Kolla and David Brock, take on an unsettling new case that touches on the timeliest of issues, Arab fundamentalism, genetic engineering, and murder. Scotland Yard's brilliant crime-solving duo, Kathy Kolla and David Brock, take on an unsettling new case that touches on the timeliest of issues, Arab fundamentalism, genetic ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published May 2nd 2003 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 422)
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Jan C
Apr 06, 2012 Jan C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england, 2012
I love Barry Maitland and this series. Very thoughtful.

He does have a note that this was written before 9/11.

He gives full portrayals of the Muslims in the book.

He had me fooled. I didn't figure it out until after Brock did. Although at that point it seemed like this was almost the only solution left. And, yet, he still had a few twists and turns to puzzle me.

I'd started The Verge Practice but was having trouble getting into it. Why? Because I had missed the book following Silvermeadow, Babel.
Oct 07, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this one as much as the others, because the misdirection was heavy handed and parts of Maitland's portrayal of the Muslim community came off as racist. Here, as with how homosexuality was handled in The Malcontenta, characters in the story express bigoted beliefs about Muslims, including calling people "the Iraqis" and suggesting two Iraqi scientists were thugs and could have been responsible for smuggling guns into the country...because they were Iraqi and being used by another m ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 07, 2010 Kirsty Darbyshire rated it liked it
Shelves: paperback

My enthusiasm for this series is waning a little. I've got a bit fed up with the way that DS Kathy Kolla throws herself into danger at the end of every book, it's in character but it's over the top. In this book Kathy is still recovering from the events of the end of the last book so she's a bit less sure of herself and it's actually DCI David Brock who walks into a stupid situation near the end. I'd say that he has more logical reasons to do so than Kathy usually does but it still needles me an

Ivonne Rovira
Aug 09, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers everywhere
Recommended to Ivonne by: Magda Cawthorne
In Babel, Barry Maitland's sixth entry in the Kathy and Brock mystery series, Sergeant Kathy Kolla's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder incurred during the horrific ending to the previous book, Silvermeadow. Indeed, Kathy's state of mind remains so fragile that she's contemplating giving up her police career.

Amidst her angst, a masked gunman fatally shoots an academic at the fictional University of Central London East as he's on his way to deliver what was promised to be a controversi
Jan 19, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it
Maitland, Barry. BABEL: A Kathy and Brock Mystery. (2002; U.S. 2003). ****. Here’s another well-written and literate police procedural from this author, who seems to never run out of new plot twists. This one starts off with the assasination of a philosophy professor on the steps of his university in London. He is approached as he is walking down by a man in a hooded shirt, wearing what appears to be a mask. The assasin shoots him twice in the heart. He loses himself in the crowd before anyone r ...more
Sam Still Reading
Jun 19, 2010 Sam Still Reading rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: crime fans and those who like to dip in and out of the genre.
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: read other books in same series
Babel was the last Brock and Kolla novel I had in my TBR stash. I was quite sad about this, as Maitland writes fantastic British crime novels from the perspective of detectives David Brock and Kathy Kolla. I’ve read the majority now (completely out of order) and I can confidently say that they are the best British police crime series I’ve read. The characters are believable, the crimes interesting (yet plausible) and I haven’t been able to guess the killer 100 pages in.
In summary, this book take
Mar 07, 2016 Monica rated it liked it
The fact that this book was written a couple of years before the attacks of 9/11 is noteworthy. The principal themes of cultural conflict and religious fundamentalism are even more timely today than they were fifteen years ago. The other themes in the book, genetic engineering and the commercialization of university departments and studies are equally timely. That said, I found it an interesting read rather than a particularly engaging one.

A curmudgeonly philosophy professor at a mid tier univer
Candy Wood
Aug 23, 2011 Candy Wood added it
Shelves: mysteries
An author's note says that this fifth book in the Kathy and Brock series of London police procedurals was written before 9/11/2001. Otherwise, one would assume that Maitland intended to build on the interest in Islam generated by that day's events. Actually, several trendy issues are explored here, not only the fears associated with Muslim immigration but also genetic research and the state of Britain's new universities as they have increasingly adopted a business model. The first victim is a ph ...more
May 20, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what I expected with this novel, but it was great!! It kept my attention; I couldn't put it down until I finished it. First of all the racial tension and international feel of London was clearly portrayed in the novel. There were different types of Muslims (Shia & Sunni) from different countries (Pakistan, Lebanon, etc.)involved in the tale. The author tackled the idea of honor-killing and racism. On the other side, the mystery involved philosophy vs. genetic science. At one po ...more
Kerim Kavakli
Dec 02, 2014 Kerim Kavakli rated it liked it
Barry Maitland's books are good, but not brilliant. He is much better than most detective novelists like J. Patterson and the Brock and Kolla series don't really get tiring. His only trope is to include a twist in the last 50 pages where Kolla solves the last piece of the crime puzzle.
Aug 07, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
Another fine, multi-faceted, multi-threaded outing with Brock and Kolla from Mr. Maitland. This time the threads involve some very contemporary subjects like the West (particularly a ratings-mad press) seeing terrorism around every corner when the actual event may be rooted in traditions and customs older than mere "terrorism".

Throw in some academia-based jealousies, the changing emphasis of large 'business-oriented' universities, cutting edge genetics, and the effect of a flat world in general
Oct 23, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it
It's been a while since I've read a Kathy and Brock mystery - and this is an older one --- but was not as caught up in the story as I have been in some of the others. Having said that, the story line showing the old differences between Asian immigrants to England - both those who have been there for generations but because they keep with old traditions, are seen as not integrated; and those who have just come to England and run into the wall of prejudice -- were quite up to date in its focus. Th ...more
Dec 12, 2011 Kay rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Got this on loan, free to Amazon Prime members, for my Kindle.
As is typical of Maitland's mysteries, this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking whodunit that is--if anything--more relevant in 2011 than it was in 2003. The victim is a distinguished philosophy professor whose writings on the Holocaust, the Palestinian cause, and fundamentalism have made him very controversial. Was he killed for his beliefs or for something entirely different? As Britons generally and the police force in particul
I enjoy the way the author blends & weaves the story & characters, makes for an interesting story.
Jan 23, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
This is my favorite in the series thus far. Now that I've gotten to know the characters, the decisions they make about their private and their work lives are more meaningful than they were earlier in the series. The plot was solid--exciting and tricky, though not unbelievable (for the realm of a mystery/thriller, which of course has to be a bit unbelievable or it wouldn't be any good at all) and I just love Maitland's use of the prologue. I have a literary crush on the prologue; he uses in them ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book from Barry Maitland. What will I do when I've read them all?
Feb 19, 2013 Kelv rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2011 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, series, suspense
I just love the subtle mixture of these mysteries. Maitland does put together a fab and twisty plot but it is Kathy and Brock that keep you coming back. They aren't wonderful and perfect and do everything right all the time, they make mistakes and stumble. The author lets them be who they are and that is rare in character making sometimes.
Apr 09, 2013 Connie rated it liked it
This is not as strong a mystery as the others in the series. I liked that it continued from the end of the previous book, Silvermeadow. It also helped me to understand more of Kathy and Leon's relationship as well as that of Brock and Suzanne. Hope to read the next one in the series as soon as it's available from the library.
Jun 19, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, british
Not as good as prior Maitland mysteries, perhaps because the story line about Islamofascism was in effect rendered outdated by 9/11.
Apr 17, 2010 Deb rated it really liked it
6th in the series....i like this british mystery author. very good characters....mysteries are suspenseful....
Oct 26, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
Still contemporary British mystery with a twist. running to the end of this series and will be sad to see it end.
Nov 02, 2009 MaryAnn rated it it was ok
Harder to follow than some of the others in this series, but a good read nonetheless.
Gary Van Cott
Jun 15, 2013 Gary Van Cott rated it liked it
Most of the way through I thought this was a great book, but then it dragged at the end.
Mary G.
Jul 15, 2010 Mary G. rated it liked it
Another very good police procedural from Maitland.
Okay mystery, didn't like it enough to keep.
Apr 19, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michella marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Marsh is currently reading it
Apr 25, 2016
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Barry Maitland is the author of the acclaimed Brock and Kolla series of crime mystery novels, which are set in London, where Barry grew up after his family moved there.

His books have been described as whydunits as much as whodunits, concerned with the devious histories and motivations of their characters. Barry's background in architecture drew him to the structured character of the mystery novel,
More about Barry Maitland...

Other Books in the Series

Brock & Kolla (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Marx Sisters (Brock & Kolla, #1)
  • The Malcontenta (Brock & Kolla, #2)
  • All My Enemies (Brock & Kolla, #3)
  • The Chalon Heads (Brock & Kolla, #4)
  • Silvermeadow (Brock & Kolla, #5)
  • The Verge Practice (Brock & Kolla, #7)
  • No Trace (Brock & Kolla, #8)
  • Spider Trap (Brock & Kolla, #9)
  • Dark Mirror (Brock & Kolla, #10)
  • Chelsea Mansions (Brock & Kolla, #11)

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