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Blood-red Rivers (Panther) [Paperback]

Jean-Christophe Grange , Ian Monk
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Jun 2000 Panther
Niemans, ex-golden boy of the commando squad, and Abdouf, a ruffian-turned-police inspector, believe they have seen everything. Then one is assigned a case after the horrifying discovery of a mutilated and tortured corpse, and the other discovers the desecrated tomb of a child.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press; New edition edition (15 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186046727X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860467271
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,252,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

A corpse, hideously tortured and mutilated, is discovered in the French Alps; a primary school in the Perigord region suffers a professional break-in, except that nothing is stolen. What is the connection between these two events, the one appalling and pathologically vicious, the other seemingly innocuous and trivial?

Superintendent Pierre Niemans, posted away from Paris after brutalising an English football fan, is assigned to the murder; Police Lieutenant Karim Abdouf, a second-generation French Arab and consigned to small-town duties, is given the responsibility for the non-theft. As the two narratives alternate and converge, Niemans is led to discover more disfigured bodies--the killer is planting clues which point to each corpse - and Abdouf is drawn into the mystery of a child, dead for many years, of whom all written and photographic traces seem to have been eradicated.

Jean-Cristophe Grange's second novel was a huge success in France, where critics compared the book to The Silence of the Lambs. While not quite matching Thomas Harris's forensic expertise or brilliantly depicted psychopathology, Blood-Red Rivers is a gripping narrative: the action occurs within a 24-hour span, and gathers a vertiginous pace towards the end as the two detectives find that they are both investigating the same crime--one that goes far beyond what either could possibly have imagined. This French thriller replaces the characteristic small town setting of the American crime novel with the equal claustrophobia of the small French university town--the undercurrents of racism and the class divisions of French society providing a festering background for the horrors of the book's climax. All in all, not so much A Year In Provence but twenty-four hours in Alpine hell.--Burhan Tufail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"An enthralling read" (New Statesman)

"A gripping story and racy narrative" (Sunday Telegraph)

"The best thriller since The Silence of the Lambs" (Figaro)

"Grange has turned out a rip-roaring shocker that begins smashingly; skirts the spooky supernatural amid graveyards, ruins, wild landscapes and night-scapes for 300 gripping pages; and at last collapses into the macabre 18th century fantasies of Maturin and Mrs. Radcliffe" (Eugen Weber Los Angeles Times)

"Smart and intense, Blood Red Rivers will have you turning pages at a furious clip" (Peter Mergendahl Denver Rocky Mountain News) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pacey & unusual crime motive 7 July 2002
By A Customer
The book starts with the actions of a policeman (Niemanns) that would make you fear the authorities in France. The plot runs with two concurrent and unusual crimes that eventually bring together the policeman from hell with his image. The fact that neither can be relied upon for their stability and adherence to the rules and standards of "being a copper" adds to the tension. The two cases collide and the dread-locked Karim meets his mentor Niemanns, with an outstanding explanation of motive and description of links to the former crime of murder. (Karim merely had a break-in and potential theft to start.)
Are these the only coppers in France with brains?
The pace is tremendous and the clues to the crimes most unusual, which keeps you reading.
The lack of a fifth star comes from the disappointing ending where the pace just seems to fizzle out, and the suspects, short in number, lead to a partially obvious ending - there is a little twist - but it feels like a slight cop out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST TO ANYONE! THRILLING, TENSE AND RACY 6 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Theres not much else I good tell you that hasn't already been said but...If your after a book that will satisfy you 101% then this is the book too read! None-stop story line that makes you want to hang the book around your neck! Warning! Once you start, you won't want to stop!
A full 5 stars. (If I good give it 6, I would!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A really good read with such rhythm and pace that the cardboard nastiness of the two lead characters is easily overlooked.
The two strand plot (Niemans leading one investigation, Abdouf the other; both seemingly unconnected) crunches together impressively and the surprises are not telegraphed. The language can be over-flowery at times but the story structure compensates. You genuinely cannot stop reading until you find out what is really going on.
There is a slight feeling of dissatisfaction at the end which has made me deduct one star - but it's not far off 5 big ones - give it a go!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral, gripping and uncompromising thriller 11 Aug 2000
By A Customer
I would highly recommend Grange's book, particularly for fans of the more uncompromising thriller where some police break the rules. The translation is clunky in places and jars but this is soon forgotten as the plot takes you from a shocking act of football violence to a mutilated corpse found stuffed in a mountain crevice. Perhaps the 'ultimate' secret which underpins the murders stretches credulity and is one that is slightly familiar, but the book is certainly different from the standard Brit/USA fare - in location, in character and in sensibility. I could not put it down.
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