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Audiobook Review: Warhammer Crime – Dredge Runners by Alec Worley

Hello once again to my readers! I hope you are well and haven’t missed me too much after my digressions to talk about video game music. My companions in the world of audio will be joining once again to return to the joys of audio dramas and in this particular instance to the latest Warhammer sub series in the form of Warhammer Crime.

Warhammer Crime is a sub series that has only recently been launched with Dredge Runners, a full length novel by the name of Bloodlines and a just released anthology book by the name of No Good Men being the entire range thus far. When it was initially promoted I do remember certain fans or groups feeling somewhat disgruntled or at least confused as to how a crime series would actually work in the grim dark and very specific world of Warhammer 40K. Especially when your mental image of crime novel defaults like mine to one of three ideas: Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie or Rebus and Ian Rankin. Yet despite that I was personally quite keen to try this new series after my previous experiences of quite enjoying the Warhammer Adventures series for children. Attack Of The Necron and the sequels proved that Warhammer itself can be a rather flexible world…certainly more than some people think. Now to describe the plot of Dredge Runners.

The plot is as follows:Baggit – Jon Rand – and Clodde– Paul Putner – are a team. Baggit the fast talking Ratling (read 40K hobbits) is an excellent sniper with a good eye for a deal and a possible way to climb up the social ranks and out of the Dredge the lowest area of the low in all of the Imperial city of Varangantua. Clodde on the other hand is an Ogryn. A ten foot tall giant with the strength to destroy almost any obstacle. Unlike most Ogryns Clodde is ‘reasonably’ intelligent for the species with a core of decency deep down and a not so secret longing for a better life.

Only there’s one problem with that.Baggit and Clodde are deserters from the Imperial Guard (regular army as opposed to Space Marines) who find themselves in deep trouble with both one of the most important crime lords in the Dredge – as played by Emma Noakes – and the most puritanical Sanctioner (Varangantua’s police) in the city as played by Kelly Hotten. How will the pair get out of this one? And what happens if innocent lives are in the crosshairs?

Dredge Runners is utterly brilliant! It’s a fantastic crime caper storyline for an hour long audio drama. Baggit and Clodde are an hilarious pair, with Baggit being both smooth and snarky despite being reasonable by crime standards. Clodde on the other hand being wonderfully well intentioned and surprisingly sweet as a criminal character. Elements of him remind me of Drax the Destroyer from the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies.

The storyline is also quite well done with the Preceptum Sabbriatti and the underground crime lords seeming very in the spirt of Varangantua which is the recurring location of all Warhammer Crime. Jon Rand and Paul Putneras the main characters are clearly having a lot of fun with Alec Worley’s script as are Kelly Hotten as the Preceptum/Chief Sanctioner and company. Special notice has to be given to David Seddon as the occasional radio announcer who does a fantastic job at in universe propaganda pieces for the Imperial Guard, the Sanctioners and various religious hymnals.

I also have to congratulate Alec Worley – writer of The Watcher In The Rain from the Warhammer Horror range which I enjoyed immensely – for making the story simultaneously very comedic and entertaining and towards the end surprisingly genuine, endearing and worthy of Warhammer Crime. Even as we entertain ourselves with Baggit and Clodde’s misadventures, Varangantua has more than one hidden darkness away from the eyes of the Emperor himself and the Sanctioners.

I truly hope that we will hear more from Baggit and Clodde in the not too distant future. Myself and a few friends of mine are openly on record in discussion threads as saying we’d be fully on board with a Baggit and Clodde box set in the same vein as Realmslayer or Our Martyred Lady. I am very keen to see just where the Warhammer Crime series and Varangantua as a setting will take its readers and listeners and what surprises we don’t know about just yet might be in store.

But no matter what I want to hear more of Alec Worley, more of Baggit and Clodde and I hope I can persuade some of my readers to journey into the Dredge alongside the Ratling and the Ogryn!

Ad HonoremVarangantua!

Nephrite

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