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Blowback: The Enzo Files, Book 5 (Unabridged)
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Blowback: The Enzo Files, Book 5 (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Peter May (Author), Simon Vance (Narrator)
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 1 Mar 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q6L580
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

When France's top chef, Marc Fraysse, summoned the world's press to make a shattering announcement, rumors abounded that he was about to lose one of his three coveted Michelin stars. Instead, on arrival at his remote restaurant on a volcanic plateau in central France, they were greeted with the news that the troubled genius had been murdered, and the message he intended to deliver was never made. Seven years later, his killing and the identity of his killer still remain an enigma.

Enzo Macleod takes on his fifth cold case and delves into the big business and high stakes of French haute cuisine. As winter sets in and snow gathers along a volcanic horizon, he retraces long-cold footsteps across a remote hilltop. But unraveling the complex web of relationships that surrounded the brilliant and mercurial chef - a spurned lover, a jealous wife, an estranged brother, an embittered food critic - also leads to strange parallels with his own life. And in opening up this celebrated cold case, he finds himself reopening old wounds from his past.

A Poisoned Pen Press Mystery

©2011 Peter May; (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 25 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read the first three books of the Enzo Files by Peter May, I can't wait to read the next now I have them all
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For mystery fans and foodies 2 Mar 2011
By TChris - Published on Amazon.com
In 2003, restaurateur Mark Fraysse, rumored to be in danger of losing a Michelin star, invited the press to hear an important announcement. Fraysse did not talk to the press that day. Instead the press reported his death, his body having been found near his restaurant after he failed to return from his afternoon run. Fraysse had been shot to death. Blood splatter "blowback" from the entry wound was found on the back of his hands. In 2010, forensic scientist Enzo Macleod sets out to find the killer, the fifth of seven cold cases he has undertaken to solve. The earlier cases were chronicled in Peter May's previous Enzo Files novels, although this is the only one I've read. In the first novel, Enzo apparently made a bet that he could solve them all.

Who would kill a beloved chef? Enzo begins by visiting the crime scene, speaking with Fraysse's mother and brother (the latter was also his business partner), and inspecting the restaurant's sterling kitchen and capacious wine cellar. Through much of this lively novel, eating and drinking plays a more important role than forensic science. Peter May writes lovingly of haute cuisine, wine, and the French countryside. Blowback is as much a celebration of fine dining as it is a mystery. It provides an inside look at the kind of restaurant (together with its food and wine) that earns the highly coveted three star Michelin rating. Reading it made my mouth water; I would have gained ten pounds sating my stimulated appetite if the novel had been longer. Of course, being in France, Enzo's thoughts turn to romance; Dominique, the police officer who was first on the scene of the crime, catches his eye. Food, wine, and desire: who knew solving murders could be such fun?

Blowback is a clever mystery novel. As Enzo investigates (in between meals and drinks and romantic interludes), several suspects with potential motives for homicide come into focus. The first half of the story proceeds at a leisurely pace but it picks up a bit after Enzo learns (via a near death experience) that his life is in danger. Peter May is a capable writer; his prose isn't stirring but it is better than average for the genre. The resolution is satisfying, with the kind of twist ending that mystery fans should appreciate.

The novel does have its faults. May gives Enzo an overwhelming amount of family baggage that apparently accrued during the course of the series. Enzo's uncertain relationships with siblings and children and former lovers take the phrase "complicated life" to a new level. Perhaps that adds depth to his character for the reader who is familiar with the earlier books. For me, it was too much; Enzo's family issues eventually became a distraction from the plot, slowing the pace just as suspense was building (fortunately, it rockets along at the end). I was also annoyed by the convenient parallels between Enzo's family issues and those of the Fraysse family -- parallels that were a bit too coincidental to be credible and too manipulative to add the drama that May likely intended. Finally, Enzo discovers what purports to be a memoir but it is written in the same voice as the rest of the novel. Still, despite its imperfections, Blowback is an entertaining novel that most mystery fans and nearly all foodies should enjoy.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read if too oenophilic 1 May 2011
By Eric Welch - Published on Amazon.com
We have dog detectives, cat detectives, recipe mysteries, vampire sleuths, etc. Most of these I ignore. At least a university professor who is a forensic science expert and works on cold cases makes sense.

Enzo MacLeod, is investigating the cold case murder of Marc Fraysse, a three star restaurant chef, who owned a place so famous that reservations were required six months in advance. Discovered by the local flic, Dominique, who, Enzo discovers to his delight, cleans up spectacularly out of uniform. (Some of these fall-spring relationships, I find disconcerting. The idea of dating someone younger than my daughter is weird.) Speaking of daughters, we learn relatively early that Enzo has sent his daughter to work incognito at the restaurant and he soon learns (mostly through her flirting with Phillippe) that Marc had been having an affair with Anne, the wife of the sous chef. After his death the restaurant was taken over by Marc's brother, Gus. Rumors had been circulating that Marc was about to lose his third star. It seems a restaurant critic had it in for Marc.

Enzo enlists his daughter to help gather some undercover inside information and soon discovers that Marc problems way beyond those of a restaurateur in fear of losing a star. He was losing millions at the track. A multitude of other motives begin to surface as Enzo explores Marc's relationship with his wife and brother, Gus, from whom he had been estranged for many years before Marc achieved his third star. Familial discord is a theme that inflicts both the Fraysse and MacLeod families and the parallels between the two seemed a bit too coincidental if not irrelevant.

May clearly loves haute cuisine which he describes in loving detail as well as the French countryside. I'm not a an oenophile so I suspect I didn't appreciate the effete (if not absurd) descriptions of wines. Nevertheless, they elicited an unintended chuckle. Well written with an ingenious plot; I'll add some some of the earlier Enzo titles to my reading list. I knocked off a star because the forensic science seemed to take a back seat to cuisine.

I received a free copy of this book as an advanced reader copy. That it was free affected my judgment not a whit.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Peaceful Reading Feeling 17 Dec 2012
By PoeDogRuns - Published on Amazon.com
What drew me into this novel was the complexity of the characters, especially after the cookie cutter perfection of the characters in my last James Patterson reading. Life is messy, but these guys faced it with intellect and a glass of wine. Being wrapped up in the storyline was serenely peaceful for me, because whatever drama was thrown out, the characters dealt with it in quiet confidence. And the true motive of the murder seemed justified in my opinion. I liked this novel a lot.

The only drawback I found were the young, beautiful love interests who, of course, could not resist hooking up with much older fellows double their age. It is fiction, so I will suspend my skepticism on that small point.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another absorbing mystery by Peter May 12 Aug 2011
By Indian Prairie Public Library - Published on Amazon.com
Blowback is the fifth book in the Enzo Files series. May continues Enzo's quest to solve seven cold case murders. To really appreciate this book, you need to begin with Extraordinary People, the first book in the series. That being said, May produces another absorbing mystery.

This book takes us to the world of the three-star Michelin restaurants in France where we begin to realize the dark side of the culinary arts. If you like food and France and an interesting older man with plenty of appeal, you will enjoy this book. Another point of interest is the ongoing story of Enzo's personal growth in his relations with family, friends and, being Enzo, his lovers.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five Down 8 July 2011
By Ted Feit - Published on Amazon.com
The reader of an Enzo Macleod mystery faces a formidable task: Confronted by the deviousness of the unsolved crime Enzo seeks to solve, the magnificent descriptions of the area in France in which he works to complete the task, and the culinary delights of le haute cuisine Francaise, the reader has to overcome the temptation to weigh one element against the other. Fortunately, in this novel, the fifth of seven unsolved cases on which Enzo has wagered he can bring to a successful conclusion, all three aspects are on such a high level, that the reader shouldn't even try.

The case is a seven-year-old murder involving a world renowned chef of a three-star Michelin restaurant in the central French plateau, Chez Fraysse, named after its chef and half-owner, Marc. There are no clues or forensic evidence, making Enzo's task harder. He places his daughter on the kitchen staff to give him an inside view. Working with a young, female, gendarme, Enzo plows ahead, gastronomically as well as on the case. As a side issue, some deep insight into Enzo's personal life and past is provided, giving a more rounded view of the protagonist.

A well-written novel which only gives rise to the desire to read about the sixth unsolved mystery (much less the seventh!) yet to come, and recommended.
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