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Bloodlines

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The first title in the new "Warhammer Crime" imprint. Try to unravel the secrets lurking in the sprawling city of Varangantua. In the immense city of Varangantua, life is cheap but mistakes are expensive. When Probator Agusto Zidarov of the city’s enforcers is charged with locating the missing scion of a wealthy family, he knows full well that the chances of finding him ali The first title in the new "Warhammer Crime" imprint. Try to unravel the secrets lurking in the sprawling city of Varangantua. In the immense city of Varangantua, life is cheap but mistakes are expensive. When Probator Agusto Zidarov of the city’s enforcers is charged with locating the missing scion of a wealthy family, he knows full well that the chances of finding him alive are slight. The people demanding answers, though, are powerful and ruthless, and he is soon immersed in a world of criminal cartels and corporate warfare where even an enforcer’s survival is far from guaranteed. As he follows the evidence deeper into the city’s dark underbelly, he discovers secrets that have been kept hidden by powerful hands. As the net closes in on both him and his quarry, he is forced to confront just what measures some people are willing to take in order to stay alive…


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The first title in the new "Warhammer Crime" imprint. Try to unravel the secrets lurking in the sprawling city of Varangantua. In the immense city of Varangantua, life is cheap but mistakes are expensive. When Probator Agusto Zidarov of the city’s enforcers is charged with locating the missing scion of a wealthy family, he knows full well that the chances of finding him ali The first title in the new "Warhammer Crime" imprint. Try to unravel the secrets lurking in the sprawling city of Varangantua. In the immense city of Varangantua, life is cheap but mistakes are expensive. When Probator Agusto Zidarov of the city’s enforcers is charged with locating the missing scion of a wealthy family, he knows full well that the chances of finding him alive are slight. The people demanding answers, though, are powerful and ruthless, and he is soon immersed in a world of criminal cartels and corporate warfare where even an enforcer’s survival is far from guaranteed. As he follows the evidence deeper into the city’s dark underbelly, he discovers secrets that have been kept hidden by powerful hands. As the net closes in on both him and his quarry, he is forced to confront just what measures some people are willing to take in order to stay alive…

30 review for Bloodlines

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chris Berko

    With this being the first book released under the Warhammer Crime line it really kind of had to do a bunch of things right. It had to have enough crime-ness in it for it not to be another regular Warhammer 40K release, it had to have enough Warhammer 40K-ness in it to not just be another crime/thriller airport novel, and it had to have a good story and entertain because after all it is the initial offering. Bloodlines walked a tight line and felt totally like a gumshoe novel that every once in a With this being the first book released under the Warhammer Crime line it really kind of had to do a bunch of things right. It had to have enough crime-ness in it for it not to be another regular Warhammer 40K release, it had to have enough Warhammer 40K-ness in it to not just be another crime/thriller airport novel, and it had to have a good story and entertain because after all it is the initial offering. Bloodlines walked a tight line and felt totally like a gumshoe novel that every once in a while reminded you it was a WH40K book. Neither of those things felt at all heavy handed or forced at any time and while you don't need to be any kind of WH genius to enjoy the book, knowing some of the stuff would definitely add to the enjoyment. Things like instead of tucking his gun into his jacket holster it's a laspistol. The warp is a part of the background, service to the Emperor is mentioned, and little sayings thrown in like, "His Hand" as a greeting or, "Throne, no" just sort of nudge you and say, remember where you are. That being said the story is fantastic and I was engaged throughout. It's not just a simple whodunnit mystery, there's a bunch of different things going on on many layers and everything was brought to a satisfying conclusion at the end. Warhammer has always done horror and science fiction very well and Bloodlines is not just a retread, something thrown-out slapping a WARHAMMER CRIME label on the cover and calling itself something it isn't. It is an original story set in an already established universe and it manages to feel fresh and new but also comfy to readers in the know. Good job, Black Library. I received a copy for review from Netgalley and Black Library but that in no way impacted my thoughts or opinion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Dodd

    In the vast, continent-sized hive city of Varangantua, Probator Agusto Zidarov is tasked with investigating the apparent disappearance of a spoiled scion of one of the city’s most powerful families. Despite his initial misgivings, it gradually becomes clear that something vile and deeply dangerous is going on in Varangantua. In order to get to the bottom of it Zidarov must navigate vicious cartels, the over-privileged ruling elite, and the corrupt systems of law and bureaucracy in which he himse In the vast, continent-sized hive city of Varangantua, Probator Agusto Zidarov is tasked with investigating the apparent disappearance of a spoiled scion of one of the city’s most powerful families. Despite his initial misgivings, it gradually becomes clear that something vile and deeply dangerous is going on in Varangantua. In order to get to the bottom of it Zidarov must navigate vicious cartels, the over-privileged ruling elite, and the corrupt systems of law and bureaucracy in which he himself works. As the first ever Warhammer Crime novel it’s no surprise that many of the standard crime elements are present and correct here – a weary, ageing detective with problems back at home; the shady but useful partner; the overbearing boss constantly giving the protagonist a hard time. The overall shape of the plot will likewise feel quite familiar to regular crime fiction readers, but Wraight injects plenty of entertaining twists and turns to keep the momentum going, and the central conceit is suitably compelling. What really lifts this novel, however, is the detail Wraight offers in his descriptions of the city, and what life under Imperial rule is like for regular citizens. It's undoubtedly the best example of ‘domestic’ 40k yet, and for all that it’s a little bit safe as a pure crime novel, it’s nevertheless very entertaining. Read the full review at https://www.trackofwords.com/2020/08/...

  3. 5 out of 5

    AA_Logan

    Pulp meets pulp. Hardboiled detective noir, but in the grim darkness of the far future. A really solid debut for Black Library’s newest imprint, Warhammer Crime. Comparisons are reductive, but inevitable. This hits all the narrative beats of a Marlow story and is all the more fabulous for it. Chris Wraight is one of the best writers at BL for painting pictures beyond the battlefield, the details of so-called domestic 40k, and he really does so here. The action unquestionably takes place in the 40k Pulp meets pulp. Hardboiled detective noir, but in the grim darkness of the far future. A really solid debut for Black Library’s newest imprint, Warhammer Crime. Comparisons are reductive, but inevitable. This hits all the narrative beats of a Marlow story and is all the more fabulous for it. Chris Wraight is one of the best writers at BL for painting pictures beyond the battlefield, the details of so-called domestic 40k, and he really does so here. The action unquestionably takes place in the 40k universe; it’s not just the passing references to plastek and Phobos-pattern bolters, but more oblique references to the wider Imperium-problems with warp travel are alluded to; the existence of Xenos species is broadly accepted, but not universally- these characters are very much rooted in their hive and the world beyond their region, let alone their homeworld is shrouded in mystery. The lead could equally well be investigating a case in LA in the 30s, Detroit in the 70s or, for all I know, Santiago in 1845 for the first part of the book, were it not for the 40kisms thrown in. But the Warhammer universe starts creeping in and you realise the scope of the story. The lead, Agusto Zivarov, has a strong moral compass, though not necessarily set in the same way you might expect him to. The story is full of, and occasionally subverts, genre tropes, and the plot is suitably twisty. As mentioned above, Wraight is excellent at nailing the details of 40k; he gets the small things so right so he’s a effect fit to start fleshing out this new, shared setting from the ground up. Varangantua is as sprawling and morally complex a setting as you could hope for, and the flashes of life we’ve seen leave me gagging to read the other upcoming titles in the series. The culture we see is as detailed as you could want. For first time I’ve ever be tempted by the description of food in 40k to feel hungry, we have actual and heavy swears, and a complex and convoluted mutually beneficial agreements between the Enforcers, corporate powers and criminal bodies- who might not be mutually exclusive to each other. As a fan of both BL and the detective genre, I was super excited when this title was announced. It might not stand up against the best examples of either genre, but as a marriage between the two it is close to perfect.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho

    I've just finish this tale. Well, my innitial thoughts, around 50 pages or so was... It looks like I am watching a Judge Dredd kind of story. Knowing the connection between Black Library, Black Flame (and old imprint that made some Judge Dredd novels) I thought that maybe this was it. Black Library has now several brands 40K (both old and new); Horus Heresy; Age of Sigmar (plus the 170 novels in Warhammer Fantasy); Blood Bowl; Necromunda; Time of Legends (now ended); BlackStone fortress & Warcy no I've just finish this tale. Well, my innitial thoughts, around 50 pages or so was... It looks like I am watching a Judge Dredd kind of story. Knowing the connection between Black Library, Black Flame (and old imprint that made some Judge Dredd novels) I thought that maybe this was it. Black Library has now several brands 40K (both old and new); Horus Heresy; Age of Sigmar (plus the 170 novels in Warhammer Fantasy); Blood Bowl; Necromunda; Time of Legends (now ended); BlackStone fortress & Warcy novels. Of course how to go even further? Lets create Horror & Crime. It's like having several companies within and putting out there 3 dozen novels per year or more if you cont all novellas, short stories and all others.... Imagine you want to read everything they put out? It's impossible. Unless you don't read anything else. Even more it's nigh impossible on finances. The other thing that upsets me is the way they release books... I bought Lukas the Trickster & Legacy of the wolfen (Cursen of Wolfen & Legacy of Russ). Now they are releasing Sagas of Space Wolves The Omnibus that encompases "Ragnar Blackmane", "Curse of the Wulfen", "Legacy of Russ" and "The Hunt for Logan Grimnar" as well as the novellas "Blood on the Mountain and Arjac Rockfist". Now why did you put outt Legacy of Wulfen? 10€ to trash? Or I wont read everything of Space Wolves. This is a good technique but it's a crappy one. You pray on people who purchase every single novella or book and then . OKay here it is plus something new. Enfin, I am goinjg astray with my thoughts. We debating on this... This book is a solid novel. Is it good? It has some parts that interested me and it will have impact on all other novels set on Crime. First the Houses behind, the politics, the setting, the serpent stuff. All of these are very interesting. Varangantua is an interesting setting. It's very 30's vibe. It's very old school crime stories vibe. But let's be true. If you could change some key words this story could have been done in another setting. This author could have change stuff and presented as a new world for him to explore. Remove "By His Hand"; remove some key imperium names and voila. You've got a new world. Some people call it Domestic 40K but to me it's not. It's another setting that will probably get a new boardgame after the innitial success of the novels and there you go. The all Iris stuff; the cars; the guns etc - all felt so detached from the 40K we know that at times I couldn't see being in a 40K universe. Now, it is bad? No, of course it's not. Probator Agusto Zidarov it's a nice interesting trouble character. It's family looked real; the all police interaction between different Probators felt interesting. The all corrupted society including the "police". All was interesting. The pace itself was fine although a bit repetitive. What I really loved was the all (view spoiler)[ cult stuff. Are they chaos? They don't feel like it althought I've check a website and they are branded as Chaos. To me look like another theology stuff that God Emperor is everywhere - the all church vs Christianity stuff we see in some thrillers . To me it was the top of the book, although they didn't dwell much on it. (hide spoiler)] I will continue to to read other stuff from this setting including the new release No Good Men. I hate that title. Should you read it? Yes. If not because it's different from normal 40K novels. As I would also advise reading a 40K horror story. They are all in the same setting so it's cool to go a bit further from the Grimdark and try other genres... You've got a bit of comedy with Cain, chidlren book; so what's the next setting BL?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alasdair

    I don't know why I thought the 40k setting wouldn't make for a great cyberpunk detective story. For the first book in the Warhammer Crime imprint, Chris really knocked it out of the park. The 40k books that tend to focus on the "smaller" settings and more grounded ones at that seem to be where a lot of the Black Library writers really shine and this as a character and plot-driven novel works really well. The characters and city are well fleshed out, so is it's place in the Imperium as a whole, w I don't know why I thought the 40k setting wouldn't make for a great cyberpunk detective story. For the first book in the Warhammer Crime imprint, Chris really knocked it out of the park. The 40k books that tend to focus on the "smaller" settings and more grounded ones at that seem to be where a lot of the Black Library writers really shine and this as a character and plot-driven novel works really well. The characters and city are well fleshed out, so is it's place in the Imperium as a whole, without needing to rely on the usual heavy-handed 40k tropes. I would recommend this book to general cyberpunk fans as much as to Warhammer fans.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Craig Munro

    Really enjoyed this - classic style detective novel set on a W40k world. I'll definitely check out more Warhammer Crime novels, particularly by this author. I also appreciated some of the new imperial expressions Chris Wraight came up in this novel - "His hand" as a greeting, for example, both makes a lot of sense and adds to the flavor of the world.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steven Baldwin

    Great book! Refreshing to see the 40k universe used in a different way. Crime fiction fits right in.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matt Neve

    Thoroughly enjoyed!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Swords & Spectres

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Whether or not Black Library have created the 'Warhammer Crime' series to try and carve themselves a slice of the thriller pie or if it's just because they wanted to breathe new life into the Warhammer 40k universe, I am uncertain. What I am certain of is that they've got this series off to a great start. For die hard bolter porn fanatics I am going to spoil your day: There are no space marines in this novel. It seems like the Black I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Whether or not Black Library have created the 'Warhammer Crime' series to try and carve themselves a slice of the thriller pie or if it's just because they wanted to breathe new life into the Warhammer 40k universe, I am uncertain. What I am certain of is that they've got this series off to a great start. For die hard bolter porn fanatics I am going to spoil your day: There are no space marines in this novel. It seems like the Black Library want to show that they are more than just Space Marines and Imperial Guard and, with Bloodlines, both they and Chris Wraight have achieved that. Augusto Zidarov, an ageing probator (a type of policeman/detective in the warhammer 40k universe) is our protagonist and, throughout the majority of the novel I found myself liking the unveiling of his character. He's often not quite what you think he is, a feat achieved by clever reveals on the part of the author. Bloodlines creates a grim, dark and oppressive-feeling world in which bleakness and the daily grind are pretty much the only things to look forward to. Unless you're rich, in which case you can have what you want, when you want. Including rejuvanat treatments (treatments to reverse the ageing process). The fact that much of this trade comes from 'cell draining', the process of hooking a living person up to a machine and having the lifeblood, and other youthful goodness, sucked out of them until they die where they lay. Zidarov's mission to bring down the cell-draining cartels in his city is a major plot point, one that unfolds to the backdrop of a missing aristocrat he's being forced to track down at the behest of one of the most influential, and filthy rich families on his world. Chris Wraight does a great job of showing just how bleak and miserable life can be on many of the world's within the Imperium. It shows how the Imperium is a society where the rich thrive and the poor are squeezed for every last bit of productivity in whatever job role they find themselves in. It may sound like it, but I don't think they're Tories ... honest. Some of the characters do feel a bit two-dimensional but I feel part of this is more because Zidarov isn't the type to open up to or to reach out and let others open up to him. Whatever the reason, it doesn't feel like it detracts. It just feels like they are the stoic citizens of the imperium that any fan has come to imagine over the years of reading. Oddly, for a warhammer 40k novel, there isn't a whole lot of fighting. There are some heart-pounding scenes that really make you appreciate the build up to them, but a great portion of the book is spent on detective work and snooping around. Which, being a thriller-type novel, I am glad of. When I opened this book I was worried that it was just going to be lots of shooting and explosions coming from a policeman's gun rather than a soldier's and just called a 'crime novel'. Thankfully, in Bloodlines, Wraight has given it a truly 'crime novel feel' whilst still making you feel grounded in the Warhammer 40k universe.

  10. 5 out of 5

    RecursiveHaiku

    3.75 / 5 Short and sweet, perfect for a quick distraction. I read this book because i wanted to take a break from the one thousand pages, high stackes, emotional investment books (i'm looking at you, Liveship Traders). The book follows a detective / investigator of the rank of Prosecutor on an imperial world. You do not really have to be familiar with the 40k universe to enjoy this book, but i expect people who read this will be 40k nerds. The pacing is fast. Not break-neck, but there are no slumps 3.75 / 5 Short and sweet, perfect for a quick distraction. I read this book because i wanted to take a break from the one thousand pages, high stackes, emotional investment books (i'm looking at you, Liveship Traders). The book follows a detective / investigator of the rank of Prosecutor on an imperial world. You do not really have to be familiar with the 40k universe to enjoy this book, but i expect people who read this will be 40k nerds. The pacing is fast. Not break-neck, but there are no slumps or slow-downs of the story. The main character is well written and fleshed out just enough. All in all this is an enjoyable and quick read. SPOILERS!!!!! Bonus speculation in case we get a follow-up: (view spoiler)[ If you know your 40k and you payed even a bit of attention during the novel, you will probably come to the conclusion that our PoV is unknowingly part of a Genestealer cult. If this story ever gets a part two, this is probably where the story will go. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Butler

    What a tremendous start to the new Warhammer Crime series. This book focuses on the life of Zidarov and his search for a missing person in a continent sized hive city. Unlike most previous Black Library publications dealing with the Warhammer 40K universe, this one brings us into the lives of the everyday citizens of the sprawling empire of humanity. The dystopic future of 40K is on full display in this novel with the gritty city filled with criminals, workers going about their jobs, and governm What a tremendous start to the new Warhammer Crime series. This book focuses on the life of Zidarov and his search for a missing person in a continent sized hive city. Unlike most previous Black Library publications dealing with the Warhammer 40K universe, this one brings us into the lives of the everyday citizens of the sprawling empire of humanity. The dystopic future of 40K is on full display in this novel with the gritty city filled with criminals, workers going about their jobs, and government officials all trying to make sense of the mundane existence and how their lives fit into the grand scheme. I enjoyed this immensely because it focused on the humanity instead of larger than life super soldier Space Marines. A hard boiled, grim dark, crime thriller that will excite any science fiction fan.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie Komstedt

    What is it like to be a police detective in the 40k universe? Pretty damn shit! Quit interesting to see the world from the view of the lowly citizen, instead of the high and might inquisitorial agents, a filthy underhive ganger, or though the terrors of a war. The first few chapters it seems like any other dystopia, which had me a bit disappointed, but at around the half way point more and more 40k ideas started inserting themselves, and in some intriguing ways too :) So I ended up really liking th What is it like to be a police detective in the 40k universe? Pretty damn shit! Quit interesting to see the world from the view of the lowly citizen, instead of the high and might inquisitorial agents, a filthy underhive ganger, or though the terrors of a war. The first few chapters it seems like any other dystopia, which had me a bit disappointed, but at around the half way point more and more 40k ideas started inserting themselves, and in some intriguing ways too :) So I ended up really liking the while thing, and would recommend it to anyone who could be interested P. S. Its so damn nice to see that characters talk about the Imperial Guard again instead of the ridiculous Astra Militarum which GW tried to rebrand them as

  13. 4 out of 5

    Russell Tassicker

    You could just about file the serial numbers off and this would be a hard-boiled detective novel in any of a number of dystopian sci-fi settings. This is a 40k novel with none of the bombast and earnest speeches about honour that are standard issue for a lot of black library fiction, and all the better for the lack. Charles Armstrong's narration gets the world-weary mood across brilliantly. I can't wait to read more in this new range and see how other authors approach the setting, far from the b You could just about file the serial numbers off and this would be a hard-boiled detective novel in any of a number of dystopian sci-fi settings. This is a 40k novel with none of the bombast and earnest speeches about honour that are standard issue for a lot of black library fiction, and all the better for the lack. Charles Armstrong's narration gets the world-weary mood across brilliantly. I can't wait to read more in this new range and see how other authors approach the setting, far from the battlefields with nary a titan or a daemon to be seen.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Siôn Hopes

    Brilliant, as per usual from Chris Wraight, Black Library's master of political intrigue. A fantastic mix of pulp noir detective fiction, cyberpunk, and the phenomenal wider world of the 40k universe. If you are looking for space marines bashing the living warp out of each other, you'll be disappointed. If you want something a little different, about the (literally) smaller people of the galaxy, then this is for you!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul Sparks

    I read this and listened to this book and it is one of the best books Chris Wraight has written and I am big fan of his work, he encapsulates the dark, grimy and seedy aspects of life in the WH universe perfectly, as you read the book you can feel the despair and fatigue the characters have to endure on a daily basis, this is a must read book

  16. 5 out of 5

    Attila

    A noir/pulp detective story in the 40k setting, done on the highest level as expected from Chris Wraight. A perfect example that a good 40k book don't need chaos or xenos or inquisitors or smurfmarines. Only 4 stars because of a certain plot element, what was absolutely unnecessary - maybe it's a meta-plot for future novels...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony Staples

    A promising introduction to the the hive city of Varangantua, billions of people, rich, poor, diseased, corrupt, twisted and plenty to keep the average cop awake at night. A good start to the Warhammer crime series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peter McAuley

    Just what 40k has been crying out for. A truly domestic story far away from the battlefield. Wraight is a wonderful writer who can build fabulous detailed and rich worlds full of great characters. Hopefully many more of these to come from Black Library

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joel Harris

    Great book. Loved the idea of a crime novel in the Warhammer 40K world. Can't wait to read more in this series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    oskar lambertsson bjork

    Chris Wraight does it again, great read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sigler

    The perfect blend of Warhammer 40k and 1940s detective pulp fiction.

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Poole

    Decent investigation novel in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It does well in that it draws in lore without being heavy handed. Read if you like dark, gritty sci-fi with a touch of despair.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matthias Winter

    A bit to descriptive about the scenery for my taste, but strong characters and very strong plot that will keep you guessing till the last page.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    An excellent detective story, that is improved by -- but not dependent on -- a working knowledge of the Warhammer:40K universe. The change of venue (and no damned Space Marine xenophobic chest-thumpery!) is very refreshing; I haven't been this thrilled reading a Warhammer-esqe novel in a fairly long time. Greatly looking forward to seeing where this series goes in the future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Phipps

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ecor99

  27. 5 out of 5

    Richard Thomason

  28. 4 out of 5

    Parker

  29. 5 out of 5

    Blake

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michael

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