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The Frozen Dead (Commandant Servaz Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Bernard Minier , Alison Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Saint-Martin-de-Comminges is a small town nestled in the Pyrenees. The kind of place where nothing happens.

Until the winter morning when a group of workers discover the headless body of a horse, hanging suspended from a frozen cliff.

Toulouse city copy Servaz can't believe he's been told to investigate the death of an animal. But there's something disturbing about the crime he can't ignore.

Then DNA from one of the most notorious inmates of a nearby asylum is found on the corpse... and a few days later the first murder takes place.

Madness and revenge is stirring in the snowbound valley, and Servaz must uncover the town's dark secret before the killer strikes again.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product Description


    A publishing sensation in France, where it's rushed up the bestseller lists, this is Minier's first crime novel and this translation justifies its vast French reputation....With a villain possessing the intelligence of Thomas Harris's immortal Hannibal Lecter, this is great story-telling, with a creeping sense of dread that would not disgrace Stephen King at his best. (Daily Mail)

    This densely written and very atmospheric thriller is Minier's first novel. It has been a bestseller in France and, in this well-translated English edition, deserves to be one here (Literary Review)

    An enjoyable and fast-paced thriller (Sunday Business Post)

    Chilling (Elle)

    The writing is razor sharp and nothing goes to waste. Enough to make other authors jealous. (Femme Actuelle)

    THE FROZEN DEAD is a boiling-hot success (Le Point)

    Remember the name Bernard Minier... he might well take his places among the masters of French thrillers (Le Figaro)

    Book Description

    When it comes to crime, France is the new Scandinavia - an isolated, snow-bound valley and a series of strange murders set the scene in this gripping French besteller.

    Product details

    More About the Author

    Bernard Minier grew up at the foot of the Pyrenees. He has received several awards for his short stories, and THE FROZEN DEAD is his first crime novel.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    2.0 out of 5 stars Very French. Very Disappointing. 22 July 2015
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    What attracted me to this book? "A publishing sensation in France ... rushed up the bestseller lists ... Minier's first crime novel & this translation justifies its vast French reputation." "Enough to make other authors jealous." (Femme Actuelle) " ... a boiling hot success." (Le Point) "Bernard Minier ... might well take his place among the masters of French thrillers" (Le Figaro). So just my tasse de the, then. How could I be taken in by publishers' puff? At my age, too. Serves me right!
    Let me say straight off that I read this "thriller" in (English) translation: so some at least of my ire is quite possibly due to the quality of the translation The title in French is simply "Glace" (i.e. frozen). Why then does the translator choose to render it as "The Frozen Dead"? And how much more of the horribly over-wrought writing is down to the translator rather than the author? I suspect the answer is more than a bit (though I have not -yet- gone back to the original French text). For example, the term "juge d'instruction" does not translate as "judge " (or even as "young judge") as the English text puts it. Nor does "notaire" translate as "solicitor". You may, correctly, say neither of those terms has any exactly corresponding concept in either English or Scottish jurisprudence. But then surely the correct thing to do would be to leave the French terms un-translated? This is the choice taken, for example, in the case of "cirque". But I much doubt that the whole blame can be passed off on the translation. I assume that a thought described as "sharp as an icicle in the moonlight" is a straight piece of translation.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read. I'm a big fan of crime ... 1 Sept. 2014
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    A gripping read. I'm a big fan of crime novels and have been looking for something new to get into since going through the Harry Bosch books (Michael Connelly) and the Harry Hole ones (Jo Nesbo).

    I was hooked from the first two pages. You can instantly tell the writer is very skilled and the story that slowly unfolds is as thrilling as any I have read. I hope this wasn't a one-off foray into crime thrillers for Bernard Minier. I'm off to find out...
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Quite gripping story and well worth reading 9 Oct. 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I thought this a very different type of thriller, unusual characters and wonderful setting. There is a threatening darkness pervading its pages which seemed to accentuate the occasional strange translation. The ending was, I thought weak almost as if the writer had lost interest and finished it off leaving the reader in mid-air. I would however consider reading another book by this author.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The best crime thriller in the last year 17 Oct. 2013
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Exceptional setting, superb characterisation. This is the best crime novel since "The Girl with the Dragon tattoo" Deserves to be filmed, which I am sure it will be. Destined for cult status.
    The dead horse was the first, but not the last....just what is he dark secret of the little town in the Pyrenees?
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    7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars clunky 5 Feb. 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I did not find this book nearly as good as I'd expected from the reviews. The narrative style was anything but concise and was laced with cliches - phrases like "she shot him a glance" - and clumsy expressions like "her face was a portrait of stupefaction," or "it can't be, cried his brain!". And if you are translating a book from French and it is set in the Pyrenees and you refer to the police as the "gendarmerie," then to use British slang expressions like "a bent copper" and "truckloads of blokes" etc. just sounds, well, wrong.
    As for the plot, i know a crime novel isn't real life, but there has to be some realism within it, and the idea of an asylum/prison for the most dangerous psychopaths in France being run by a nutty professor who uses electric shocks as punishments for the inmates just didn't work for me. The other characters - with their velvet jackets and thigh-high red vinyl boots were pretty unbelievable too.
    Perhaps the book improves, but I could get beyond about a quarter of it before giving up
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    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I got this following it's recommendation in the Mail on Sunday. Not disappointed. A novel that starts of with a gruesome discover in a location where it should not be possible for it to happen but it has, that leads to other such developments that gives the police something to solve. I will not give anything more away but the novel will grip you until the end.

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    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. 6 Oct. 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I I was unaware of this author and his work but having read this very different kind of book I am eagerly waiting for other works by him to be translated from French. A thought provoking detective/thriller and a book it was very difficult to put down. I absolutely recommend this powerful mind expanding book.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars Shivery thriller.... 7 May 2015
    By Ruby
    Loved this atmospheric thriller that read like a Scandi noir. Beginning is a bit slow, confusing but be patient it soon develops at a steady pace that keeps you turning the pages. Great sense of place, you can feel the cold seeping off the page. I hope to meet Commandant Servaz again in the near future....
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars My first encounter with the author
    This is a well written thriller. The characters have some depth and the storyline keeps your attention. I like France so enjoyed the setting.
    Published 2 days ago by Mr. John MacDonald
    5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous.
    Brilliant writing with a superb sense of place. Splendid plotting, A real feel of menace and believable characters.
    Most excellent. Really, well worth a punt.
    Published 19 days ago by Mr. Drayton
    5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
    I enjoyed this book.very tense thriller.i guessed the ending but still would recommend it. Looking forward to his next novel
    Published 3 months ago by jane johnstone
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Slow starter but then hits up unable to put book down
    Published 3 months ago by Jennifer Billington
    4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
    After a slow start I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I know the Pyrenees well and I think that added to the pleasure. I look forward to the next one, but have to wait until July!
    Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read.
    Really enjoyed the atmosphere of this book and the characters where quite interesting. Looking forward to the next book. Superb.
    Published 5 months ago by Keith
    4.0 out of 5 stars worth a read
    A bit clunky in places but keeps you intrigued.
    Published 5 months ago by RACHAEL S KING
    1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
    Too much 'tell' rather than 'show'
    Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Interesting French thriller. The plot is, perhaps, a little over the top.
    Published 8 months ago by Gerard O'Sullivan
    4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
    I enjoyed this book, and having read some of the critical reviews here, I wonder if perhaps some things were lost in translation. Lots of brooding atmospherics. Recommended.
    Published 9 months ago by bst
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