A naked teenage girl is found dead in the grounds of Yoros Castle in Turkey. She has apparently stabbed herself through the heart, but there is evidence of some strange sexual practices. Someone is convincing young people in Istanbul to participate in what they believe are sex orgies, only to murder them. Inspector Mehmet Suleyman draws this conclusion while investigating another incident involving a teenage boy, although one death seems to be a suicide.
Inspector Çetin İkmen has made several visits to a friend, local magician Max Esterhazy, for information about a strange obscene symbol someone has been painting on the walls of religious sites. His investigation seems to indicate some connection with Suleyman’s case. Then Max disappears, and blood is found splattered around his study.
Suleyman is having his own problems. His wife has left him for a visit to Ireland, taking their infant son. His unfaithfulness has broken them up, and he has been exposed to the HIV virus through an affair with a prostitute.
Soon another girl is killed, and Suleyman and Ikmen find links to the city’s goth clubs and possibly to Satanism.
I find Nadel’s mysteries set in Istanbul interesting because they often provide fascinating insights into the city’s subcultures.