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Summary

A Warhammer Crime novel.

An investigation into a missing member of a wealthy family leads Probator Agusto Zidarov into a web of lies and danger amidst the criminal cartels of Varangantua. As the net closes in, Zidarov falls further into darkness from which he may never return.... 

Listen to it because: take a step into the murky underworld of the 41st Millennium through the eyes of a lawman in a gargantuan city whose investigation leads him into darkness and danger.  

The story: 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.... 

Written by Chris Wraight. Narrated by Charles Armstrong.

©2020 Games Workshop Limited (P)2020 Games Workshop Limited

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Great Debut - CyberNoir in 40k setting

tldr; Bloodlines is a very believable marriage between a traditional detective story in a cyberpunk setting where the 40k universe serves as a backdrop.



Bloodlines has been much anticipated as the first title of the new Warhammer Crime series and is penned by none other than the great talent that Wraight is. For most, Bloodlines achieves the heavy expectations. Bloodlines in some ways is a very light 40k novel in that it could work well outside the universe, or if it did not have Warhammer in its name, perhaps most readers would have never even guessed the connection.



This is both good and bad. The good is that it offers a fresh and an extremely down to earth approach to the universe. Bloodlines is enjoyable reading in how casual it is but it also offers important lore-insights into the life of regular Imperials in one of its better worlds. Varangantua is a civilized world but in truth more like a paradise world compared as to how masterfully horrible Terra is depicted in Wraight's masterpiece, The Carrion Throne (much recommended). Still, the novel is fairly grim in few parts. Many times the atmosphere of the book reminds me somewhat of Blade Runner. A rather traditional detective story with women, alcohol and corporations that are clad in 40k universe. The bad part is that I feel the book is a bit of a lost opportunity. It could have involved more enriching of 40k lore in many ways. As it is, Bloodlines is a perhaps a bit too detached from the universe, while it certainly also offers many insights into it. I hope this doesn't come trend for Black Library and that they don't try to fish too hard for new audiences but overall, everything works. I do commend that for change the focus is a believable story involving non-superhuman people.



I was initially going to give the narrator three stars but eventually began to like Armstrong better over the course of time. He is generally solid and at times excels in dialogue but for me he was not on equal footing with an narrator like John Banks, who is certainly a full five star reader. The narration, nonetheless, is good and very fitting for the character. There were a few audio glitches in the recording, for example one sentence can be repeated twice. There are not many such blatant mistakes but these are unforgivable to be left in a released professional recording.



Chris Wraight's writing is as solid as ever. Bloodlines is not as brilliantly lyrical as The Carrion Throne is for example but is nonetheless more vibrant than Watchers of the Throne. The writing is overall a bit more comical in its extremely elegant and witty form. Dialogue, in particular, is well crafted.



Overall, Bloodlines is a success and if its description spiked your interest, you probably won't be disappointed!

9 people found this helpful

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A great adventure!

I really enjoyed this, made me think of other policemen of fiction like Vimes and Frost and gave a great insight into the lives of hive citizens. Highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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One of the best 40K books!

This is such a refreshing perspective, and I really hope Chris Wraight comes back to it again soon! Yeah, like others have mentioned it comes across as more Cyberpunk/40K lite than most books in the setting. At least, ostensibly. All the 40K Grimdark is still there, it just isn't rammed down your throat by a power fist! It's all there, but on a range of varying subtly (sometimes you'll miss it if you blink!)

I would love for BL to have this type of perspective as niche they really commit to!

4 people found this helpful

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Grim Dark Grimy and Seedy

A superb first book in the WH40k crime series the characters are so believable and the fatigue both mental and physical they suffer in this world is palpable, I want more na I want it soon! The narration is perfect

3 people found this helpful

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It's 40k but with a real twist.

A very grass roots look at the 40k universe from the perspective of some amongst the vast downtrodden masses. It's gritty, grim, and has a feel of the old noir pulp novels to it. If you're a fan of the Enforcers in Necromunda this is probably the book for you. If I have one almost-gripe it's that I feel Chris Wraight missed a trick in not having everything after the first chapter written in the first person perspective, although that may be almost stepping to close to Raymond Chandler's literary toes. There are no superhuman warriors blazing away with full-auto rocket launchers in this tale, and in this case that's for the better.

3 people found this helpful

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Grimdark gumshoe

This was fantastic! A really bleak grimdark novel. 41st millennium as it is for everyone who isn't a supersoldier. Very clever and a great pace throughout I heartily recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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Great narrator

It's a good crime story in the WH 40k universe. Charles Armstrong does an excellent job.

2 people found this helpful

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5 Stars is not enough Stars

If this is how Warhammer Crime series is going to continue sign me up. Really hope Chris does some more Agusto stories.

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

Amazing debut for the WH Crime franchise. A refreshing look at the 40k universe, thoroughly recommend! Chris Wraight is fast becoming one of Black Library's best writers.

2 people found this helpful

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A different kind of Warhammer story

I liked the difference between this and a lot of other 40k stories I've listed to.

It's not more of the same with this but dares to step outside of the standard tropes of the 40k universe. Definitely worth a blast!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-08-20

Wonderful start to Warhammer Crime, but....

I very much so enjoyed a look into the life of not only one of the Arbitrators of a Hive world, but more so a look at the life of an Imperial citizen.

However, the one issue I had with the book was not from the actual story or even the narrator, but rather Games Workshop's horrific editing, or rather lack there of. 3-4 distinct times the bloopers/first readings of a line were left in. This happened in the 3rd installment of Ciaphis Cain, and now here. It is rather unexcusable from a publisher like The Black Library, especially with a catalog as vast as theirs.

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoy this story, and would be quite pleased even for a follow up that features some of the same characters.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-08-20

Awesome writing yet again from Chris Wraight

But someone needs to proof listen to black library’s audiobooks better than they currently are! Everything else was fantastic

5 people found this helpful

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  • Tim Miller
  • 12-08-20

Noirhammer

You don't need to know much about Warhammer 40k to enjoy this book. If you're a 40k fan, then some of the things that are happening in the background will give you a reference for when this takes place and what the galaxy is going through, but it's not required. It's a well written crime drama/mystery with a down to earth (so to speak) protagonist. The narrator does a great job, not much more to say, but given warhammer's usual narrators, he had a high standard to live up to. I had occasion to listen to this in one long session and did not once feel the urge to stop and listen to something else. I could easily see myself going "just one more chapter" with a hard copy version until what do you know, I finished it and it's 3am.

4 people found this helpful

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  • David Dennett
  • 27-08-20

Absolutely inspired!

The word dystopian is often over used in this genre. However, Chris Wraight’s treatment of the subject matter is entirely relatable and therefore entirely dark and gritty In a way that hits home. Dr. Wraight has recently become one of my favorite Black Library authors. His treatment of the cosmos is always deep, provocative, and more often than not serves as an analog to the world we live in.

3 people found this helpful

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  • joshua
  • 17-08-20

Blade runner meets 40k

A very enjoyable mix between the universe of 40k, trade dynasties with solid undertones of blade runner.
The main character is a good mix of light and dark and although the book could have been a little more edgy the theme of illegal youth harvesting was very nasty indeed

3 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 12-01-21

Boring & in name only is it related to 40k

As a police procedural, it to fails so very badly. No action, no intrigue, nothing to hook ya.
The *hero* is a schlub who's aging, overweight & nothing special at his job. Not even an overly likeable nor relatable hero. Just a basic, no frills character.
What little action there is is far between & ho-hum, at best.
It's got very lil to do with Warhammer/40k. If it didn't say *Warhammer* on it you might never know!
Abnetts Eisenhorn & Ravenor & even some of his Gaunts Ghost investigations, mysteries are 40k times better.
Don't waste your time or money.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ronnie Komstedt
  • 19-11-20

Starts out slow, but really picks up at 50% point

What is it like to be a police detective in the 40k version? Pretty damn shit!
Quit interesting to see the world from the view of the lowly citizen, instead of the high and might inqisitorial agents, underhive ganger, or though the terrors of a war.

The first few chapters it seems like any other dystopia, which had me a bit dissapointed, but at around the half way point more and more 40k ideas started inserting themselvs, and in some intriquing 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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steven Baldwin II
  • 16-09-20

40k & Crime fiction

great book! refreshing to see the 40k universe used in a different way. crime fiction fits right in.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua
  • 14-09-20

Pretty Good

Standard cop story in SPAAAACE! Not bad, I liked it and will read the sequel. Chris Wraight always delivers even if the genre isn't your thing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charles E Valdyke
  • 08-09-20

great start to crime, great for sci-fi in general

A really fresh take on the 40k universe. Really adds to the depth and variety of the Imperium of Man, but doesn't necessarily rely on an extensive background knowledge of it.

The Narrator also did a fantastic job bringing in fresh new accents and varrying characters voices.

1 person found this helpful