Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Atonement (Nigel Barnes)” as Want to Read:
Blood Atonement (Nigel Barnes)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Atonement (Nigel Barnes #2)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  424 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews

Genealogist Nigel Barnes’s second case leads him into the dark heart of the Mormon church and a gruesome, century-old secret.

Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster is called to a homicide at the home of a single mother in Queens Park, London. Her throat has been cut from ear to ear and her body dumped in the garden. Her daughter and only child, Naomi, who has just turn

Hardcover, 344 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood Atonement, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blood Atonement

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 02, 2011 Bev rated it really liked it
Who knew that I would get all caught up in a thriller-like police procedural series? And we're only two books in. And I'm already chomping at the bit wanting to know when Dan Waddell is going to give us the next book in the Nigel Barnes/Inspector Grant Foster series.

Waddell's second book, Blood Atonement, is every bit as gripping as the first--and a little bit more. Here we have Inspector Foster returning to duty after a recovery period that resulted after injuries sustained in the wrap-up of Th
Okay so I'm a bit of a fan - which after two books is quite an achievement. It's probably a little bit to do with the basic premise of genealogy being used to solve crimes (family tree research being an investigation in its own right after all), but mostly it's because Dan Waddell really can tell a bit of a tale.

There is a serial killer theme to BLOOD ATONEMENT, although initially it's only Detective Grant Foster who sees the parallels between the death of Katie Drake, and the disappearance of h
Jun 25, 2010 Martha rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, genealogy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2016 Niki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I preferred the first one in the series, but liked this one anyway
Cathy Cole
Having enjoyed the first book in this series, I had to get my hands on this second, which also appears to be the last. Blood Atonement acknowledges the elephant in the room: the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and the powerhouse position they have in the world of genealogy. Members may not be happy with Waddell's depiction of their religion since it touches on fundamentalist offshoots that practice polygamy as well as the actions the church has taken to erase (or at least cover u ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Steph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a practicing Mormon, I was nervous going into this audiobook about how my church would be treated. These are the thoughts I had as I read the story:

Story is a combination of rumor, supposition, truth based probably on research and embellishment. Some stereotypes (sister has 9 children), obnoxious modern Mormon woman (Donna) who bad mouths the church to prove that not all Mormons fit the stereotype; created cities, fake history and over-the-top description of historical Mormons, polygamists an
Sandra Danby
A fascinating mixture of modern crime novel and family history research, ‘Blood Atonement’ takes Nigel Barnes from London to the USA as he races against time to find answers for Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster.
Foster’s first case after returning to work following injuries sustained in ‘The Blood Detective’ [first in this genealogical crime series] is a dead actress and her missing daughter. Links to the actress’s past, mystery about her family and unanswered questions, lead Foster to cal
Katharine Ott
Apr 30, 2013 Katharine Ott rated it liked it
"Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster emitted a weary sigh as he crouched over the woman's corpse, arc lights in the garden bathing them both in bright light, anticipating the first light of dawn." Author Dan Waddell has written the second in his series of British murder mysteries featuring a special kind of investigator, a genealogist. Right up my alley! "Blood Atonement" delivers some satisfying research moments - you don't see mitochondrial DNA results being used to solve murders too often! ...more
Barb in Maryland
Sep 01, 2013 Barb in Maryland rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This second book featuring Nigel Barnes (genealogy wizard) and police members Grant Foster and Heather Jenkins is just a good as the first.
The modern mystery is nice and twisty and has its roots in the past. Once again Nigel is hired to do his bit to help the police discover a motive, a pattern and possibly a list of suspects/list of potential victims.

Nigel is charming as always. Foster is chafing under the restrictions placed on him as he comes back to work; with his boss, Harris, being just as
Sep 13, 2009 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this guy can really write! I enjoyed the first book but the "serial killer" theme was a little predictable so was very pleased with the second book. Yes, several people are killed but the tying together of the past (1890's) and the present was fascinating and bringing in the newer methods of tracing people's history (like DNA) was interesting.

Nigel, the genealogist, and Grant, the detective, are both back and so is Grant's partner (and Nigel's love interest). When a woman is found dead in h
Feb 07, 2013 Sheryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book, mystery
I loved it! I really enjoyed the first book in the series but this one was even better. I found it so fascinating- not just the genealogy but the reasons behind the murders, too (I don't want to give any spoilers). The audiobook production is top notch! Colin Mace does a fantastic job narrating. You don't absolutely have to read the first book before this one, as it can stand on its own. However, I think it is more enjoyable if you do read them in order as it is nice to see how the characters ha ...more
Despite one really egregious error about genealogy research (which any American genealogist would know, but I forgive Waddell because he's English), this second in a series mixes murder and genealogy for a cracking good yarn. It's a mixture of amateur sleuth and police procedural with the best of both genres. The plot is perhaps merely an updated version of Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet but anyone who reads the newspapers knows that it is not totally implausible even today. Readers who like B ...more
Feb 22, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in the series featuring genealogist Nigel Barnes. Still clean! Again, a series of gruesome murders with a link to past events. This time there seems to be a link to some sort of cult. But how? And why can the victims' ancestors be traced back only to the last of the 19th century? There is a lot to discover in this family. This time there is some surprising DNA evidence motivating the search for family members. A very good read.
Mystereity Reviews
Jun 30, 2014 Mystereity Reviews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is the second book in the Nigel Barnes series and I liked it even better than the first. Half police procedural and half historical mystery, lots of action and an original and intricate plot. The characters had a bit more depth in this one, making it easier to relate to them and get involved in story. I love the genealogical info, it's always fascinating to me. Great story, really enjoyed it and can't wait for the next.
Sep 07, 2010 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuation of the exploits of Nigel Barnes, genealogist, and Foster and Heather, detectives. Good story about the sins of the father, etc...I'm happily reading along and am brought up short by Nigel checking the 1890 census in the U.S.! I did finish the book and liked it, other than the blooper about the census.
Feb 27, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Nigel Barnes novel where he is helping Grant and Heather (detectives) solve another genealogical murder mystery. I love listening to Colin Mace reading this novel and he had me gripped. Again, a murder from the past helps to unravel the present and as someone researching into my family tree, I find it fascinating. Fantastic story to eat up the miles on a long car journey
Rob Cohen
Dec 03, 2012 Rob Cohen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really solid read- I like the genealogical mysteries of the two books. One problem is that the "whodunit" reveal at the end was not a surprise but then it really can't be in a book like this. So the suspense is driven from the killings and kidnappings and the investigation and less from the suprise aspect of who the killer is. I hope there are more books in the series!
Jul 16, 2010 Windy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second of his books featuring Nigel Barnes, a genealogist employed by the Met to help solve a murder investigation. The historical story and the reason behind the killings in this book I found quite chilling. The ending appears to leave way for the next case but no sign of a new book from the author so far. I hope he does write more.
Aug 15, 2009 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waddell seems to have found his stride as this is much better than the first one in the series. Easy read, fast paced and intelligent. As a crime novel I loved it but the genealogy 101 just made me cringe. And the fact that the hero shares the same initials makes me believe he based him on the archivist who sold his soul to the darkside and is always on tv.
Ayant beaucoup aimé le premier tome des enquêtes du généalogiste Nigel Barnes, j'ai été ravie de lire le second volet de ses aventures. L'enquête qui se déroule dans le milieu mormon est très intéressante. C'est un sujet que je ne connaissais pas beaucoup. J'ai trouvé l'histoire moins prévisible que le premier tome.
Nov 19, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, so good! Can't wait for the next book. Nigel Barnes reminds me of Watson, I could see Martin Freeman playing him in the movie/show version of this if it ever came to that.

Dan Waddell is now one of my new favorite authors. If you love murder mysteries, suspense, crime novels, etc. this is a great book to read.
Dec 01, 2010 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I considered giving it 4 stars, so I'll opt for 3.5. It was much better than the first book, but Waddell doesn't get me really connected to the main characters which is disappointing. Although, I was impressed with his knowledge of the fundamentalist mormon movement.

I really enjoyed this book.
Mar 21, 2012 Lilah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is totally my type of book. Perfect english crime novel with the slight variation on a theme that the main character traces current crimes back through ancestoral records to find their roots in the past.
Tom Mueller
Aug 30, 2009 Tom Mueller rated it really liked it
Shelves: genealogy, cops
Genealogy, psycho-thriller, a detective mystery . . . Waddell covers all the bases with this one, and does them well.
Ending simply screams for another to follow. I'm already anticipating what's to come.
Jul 29, 2011 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enyoyable murder mystery. This series takes a fresh approach to the crime novel by featuring a genealogist as one its protagonists. I can't help wondering however how long the series can last without the plots starting to become contrived. But maybe Mr Waddell will surprise me!
Aug 09, 2011 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: genealogists, English mystery fans
This is the first mystery to have a protagonist that is a genealogist to get the genealogist right. Even though we have some of the same resources he used, it was fun to see his research from an English perspective. To top it off it was a good mystery, too.
May 20, 2012 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was quite good as well, altho I liked the first one a bit better. Nice use of history effecting the present once again to bring back the geneaologist. Worth reading but read The Blood Detective first.
Mary G.
Jul 08, 2010 Mary G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful read. The characters were even more vivid and memoriable in the second effort. Nigel, Heather and Grant make quite the team. In addition, the tale revenge was plausible and exciting. The story was mix of a modern police procedural and history.
Indy Mitra
Oct 28, 2014 Indy Mitra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could not put this one down! I read this one out of order from the first in the series; so I've got a little bit about the first now. However, spellbinding I am sure it will be! Happy to find a new favourite author.
Dec 27, 2012 Tinglefish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second novel in this series was a lot better as it lost some of the annoyances from the first, namely the lecturing style and telegraphed plot. Still, it was a remarkably unsatisfying end as the fire and Liberty were not fully explored.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Far Cry
  • Murder Must Wait (A Scribner Crime Classics)
  • Still bleeding
  • Kill-Devil And Water (A Pyke Mystery, #3)
  • The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop (Mrs. Bradley, #2)
  • Off the Rails (Bryant & May, #8)
  • The Square
  • Long Way Home (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira, #1)
  • Little Girls Lost (Carson Ryder, #6)
  • Stolen Lives (Jade de Jong, #2)
  • Hiding the Past (The Forensic Genealogist #1)
  • Person of Interest
  • The Queen of Patpong (Poke Rafferty Mystery, #4)
  • Bloodline (Tom Thorne, #8)
  • The Old Buzzard Had It Coming (Alafair Tucker, #1)
  • Bloodline (Natasha Blake Ancestor Detective, #2)
  • Sea Fighter (Amanda Garrett, #3)
  • Shanghai
Dan Waddell is a journalist and author who lives in west London. He has published ten non-fiction books, including the bestselling Who Do You Think You Are?, which tied in with the successful BBC TV series. The Blood Detective is his first novel.

* Nigel Barnes
More about Dan Waddell...

Other Books in the Series

Nigel Barnes (3 books)
  • The Blood Detective (Nigel Barnes)
  • La moisson des innocents

Share This Book