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Babel (Brock & Kolla, #6)
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(Brock & Kolla #6)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  393 ratings  ·  34 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
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  393 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Jan C
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, mystery, england
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. I
Sam Still Reading
Jun 16, 2010 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 boo
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 06, 2013 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 controversial lecture. Why w
Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 07, 2010 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

Oct 07, 2015 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
Peter Anderson
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Barry Maitland's Brock & Kolla series is up there with the very best of crime fiction.

Babel has an interesting plot that will keep you guessing all the way through the book.

Maitland is very skilful in the way he draws his characters. The only minor criticism I would have is (view spoiler). Ot/>
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I have had to skip over #5 for now as I am waiting for it to be delivered. It sounds as if it was a fairly gruesome instalment, and what happened between Kathy and Leon??

This one was perhaps my least favourite so far. The solution was too far-fetched for even me to really believe it. It was written before 9/11 as it says in the preface and holds up pretty well.
Pam Foster
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Enjoyed the first 5 Brock & Kolla books better than this one. This didn't have the energy of the others and the supporting characters weren't as well drawn, but still an interesting plot and outcome.
Any Length
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting book, but one must consider it was written before September 11!
Mar 05, 2016 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
Candy Wood
Jul 23, 2011 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 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
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2011 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 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 02, 2011 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
Jan 15, 2011 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
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
A London detective sergeant is about to leave the police after a terrible (but not described) ordeal, but gets involved and rejuvenated in a new and complex investigation, For fans of the Brock & Kolla series, this will keep them happy, but for others - it might seem a bit like reading something written for young adults; overly simplistic, ploddingly plotted and a great pains to be politically correct.
Apr 04, 2013 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.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, mystery, series
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.
Kerim Kavakli
Dec 02, 2014 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.
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book from Barry Maitland. What will I do when I've read them all?
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: brock-kolla
I enjoy the way the author blends & weaves the story & characters, makes for an interesting story.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
British police procedural, hadn't seen before, enjoyed it.
Apr 25, 2011 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.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
6th in the series....i like this british mystery author. very good characters....mysteries are suspenseful....
Mary G.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Another very good police procedural from Maitland.
Kathy Daso
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great...academia, genetics research, Islam and murder.
Gary Van Cott
Jun 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Most of the way through I thought this was a great book, but then it dragged at the end.
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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 my

Other books in the series

Brock & Kolla (1 - 10 of 13 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)