Bludd Brothers - Judge, Durie and the Executioners by Samael Eldritch #BookReview

Private detective, Sebastian Bludd, had an unusual upbringing that ultimately ended in unhappy teenage years. Some would say that unusual and unhappy were words that carried over into his adult life. Bludd, himself, would rather use the word unconventional, but in reality, he knew all three words were quite appropriate. Now, more than 20 years after absconding from boarding school, a woman turns up on his doorstep. His instinct is that she is not being wholly truthful with him, but, compelled by curiosity, he reluctantly takes her case. He is forced to confront his childhood nemesis, whom he had buried in his adolescence, and uncovers a sadistic world that he could never have imagined existed. Could he put that world right? How was his own, estranged, brother involved? Who were the foreigners at the case's core? Could he bury his demons once and for all?

Many thanks to Samael Eldritch for inviting me to read Bludd Brothers - Judge, Durie and the Executioners and for sending me a copy of the book. My apologies for taking so long to read it.

I read across the spectrum of crime novels, from the cosiest mysteries to the darkest thrillers. Samael Eldritch's book definitely falls into the latter category, featuring characters who are about as depraved as they come. I don't have a problem reading stories which focus on the darkest recesses of society but do feel it's only fair if I warn readers that the author doesn't hold back in revealing just how sick these people are. The very first chapter of the book clearly sets the scene when it comes to the twisted evil perpetrated by perverts who target the youngest and most vulnerable among us.
Sebastian Bludd has an unusual gift; Advanced Eidetic Memory which allows him to recall information from all his senses - and to retain the memories in the long-term. It means he takes a snapshot of the world every time he blinks - obviously an asset for his job as a private detective but I couldn't help feeling it could be a curse as much as a gift at times. This suspicion was certainly borne out as the novel progresses and it transpires that Bludd's traumatic adolescence has meant he is a rather lonely man who struggles to form intimate relationships. I found him a fascinating character - understandably damaged by his past but with a clear moral code, a desire to protect the innocent and a ruthless streak when it comes to seeing justice is served. He has a difficult relationship with his family, particularly his brother, Max who is a high ranking police officer. As Seb is a rather closed-off individual, he isn't perhaps the easiest character to warm to and later in the story there are a couple of incidences where he comes across as a little homophobic but as these scenes take place when emotions are high, and considering his past, I would hope that it was his anger talking and the conclusion to this book suggests that.
It is the sadists whom Bludd finds himself investigating who are the real villains here, of course. Although it is obvious early on that this is a case dealing with the very worst of humanity and there are little hints throughout as to what these people are capable of, the shocking truth about what they have been doing isn't revealed until later in the book. Bludd's response is entirely understandable and an interesting counterpoint to the protagonists in other books who perhaps don't always give in to what their hearts tell them they should do. Whether or not he makes the right decision will depend very much on each reader's own sensibilities.
I enjoyed Bludd Brothers - Judge, Durie and the Executioners but the descriptions are very detailed and in my opinion needlessly so at times. I always appreciate a novel which conjures up a sense of place but not at the expense of pace which personally I think suffered a little here, especially in the first part of the book. This is my own opinion, of course and I'm sure there are other readers who will thoroughly enjoy the meticulous descriptions. If I found the settings overly descriptive, the opposite is true when it comes to characterisation. The visual appearances of the various characters can't be faulted - although I couldn't help noting that what people look like on the outside matches their personalities, so the good characters are beautiful and the evil are ugly - I did feel that with the exception of Bludd, the rest of the cast were not as fully rounded. I can understand why this was the case as this is presumably the first book in a series and therefore it was particularly vital that readers are given a good sense of Bludd's history and what motivates him to behaves as he does. Ultimately, however, this is a plot-driven thriller and it definitely delivers the goods when it comes to action, shocks and tension.
I hope there will be further books in the Bludd Brothers series, the ending certainly suggests there is more to come and I'd welcome seeing where Seb's next case takes him, particularly given the tempting teaser at the end of this story...

Bludd Brothers - Judge, Durie and the Executioners can be purchased from Amazon UK, Amazon US and Hive.

About the Author

I am a Sales Manager and have been for the last 25 years in a various roles and selling a wide range of products, including incineration systems and packaging industry consumables, which are both part of the plot of my book. I have wanted to write since I was about 12, so am really happy that I have finally got there. I live in the North West of England, with my girlfriend. I have two grown up sons.


  1. Hi Karen,
    First of all, thank you for giving Judge, Durie & the Executioners your time and feedback. I read your review and outwardly smiled several times. I think this is for two reasons. Firstly, you sum up the character perfectly and are pretty much spot on in the way that he was depicted, certainly in my mind as I was creating him. Secondly, because you seem to have rounded up all the other reviews, some written and some just verbal and face to face, into one. I cannot disagree with anything you have put, and several have commented on the detail being too much at times, but people seem happy to skip over it if is not for them.
    As you know, this is my first novel, so definitely a learning curve for me and the feedback from you is definitely the most detailed and thorough I have had, and it is very much appreciated in striving to do better next time. As for next time, I have been so busy at work that I have hardly written a word since I had JD&E published, although I have the framework and plot, just not the time. The second episode was supposed to focus on brother Max, but I appear to have unmasked a new main character who is on the other side of good and evil, so am trying to find a way to turn that around and involve Max more.
    Anyway, thank you so much for the review, it is really appreciated.
    Kind regards,


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