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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2007
Fifteen builds on the fantastic descriptive writing that we have all come to love from Martin O'Brien - I could feel the warmth of the sun on my pages as I became more and more a part of the world that Jacquot inhabits. The Fifteen, a reference to the Rugby team that Jacquot once played for in an International, are brought together for a reunion, one that like most self depreciating men, Jacquot does not want to attend - but like all good men, he also has a good woman to make sure that he does miss the glory that he deserves. One by one the team seem to be breathing their last, in seemimgly natural 'accidents', but Jacquot makes the link - but who is the killer? As usual we are invited to pick numerous clues, but if like me, you just love O'Briens writing, then you becomme so immersed that the truth always comes as a shock. Mr O'Brien, you have done it again, and although I nearly fell out of love with your main man, he upheld honour and dignity and retained my affection - when can we have the next installment?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2008
We want style and something that keeps us reading from page one to the end. This book has it all. I got hooked in Jacquot and the Angel, and found that this book matches it. Ok like the person who knocked it down to 2 stars, the reason for the murders may be a bit weak but surely the role of an author is to provide enjoyment and this guy certainly does. He transports you to France, gives you a feeling for the place and the characters in the book become real. Even to the emnity to "les rosbifs" if you give yourself to the book. and surely you can really visualise that match at twickers...
2 stars is completely unfair............. EXCELLENT EXCELLENT BOOK
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on 12 March 2011
O'Brien's Jacquot is a good creation, someone you want to keep an eye on. However, the series has a few big flaws:
first, the order of the books just isn't right. I don't know why they are listed out of order, but I found that quite disturbing as you keep jumping back and forth in Jacquot's life- the correct order is: J & the waterman; J & the master; J& the 15; J& the angel; Confession.
the second flaw of the series is the widely different quality of the books, with Jacquot & the waterman ranging as the poorest of all; I found it a difficult read and had to struggle to finish. J& the master isn't better; my advice would be to skip the first two books and start directly with "the fifteen" which is a good, fun read and develops Jacquot's character quite interestingly. "The Angel" is also a very strong one, introducing a young lady with special abilities who is an enrichment to the book; as a special bonus we meet her again in Confession.
the third HUGE flaw (I'm french) is the terrible editing on all of the books; there is almost no french expression that hasn't got a mistake in it, and as for the culture..a male called Valentine? the nine o'clock news on TF1? (Valentine is a female name; the news on TF1 are at 8..in France, which probably makes it 9 in the UK), and so on..

to summarize: a strong main character, and happily the series keep getting better - but not the editing!
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on 23 September 2007
While the Rugby Union World Cup is in play what better time to indulge yourself in yet another Jacquot book by Martin O'Brien in which Chief Inspector Daniel Jacquot finds himself intrigued by an old team-mate's supposed suicide at an anniversary reunion.
Daniel Jacquot, in his youth, was a member of a French Rugby team and scored the winning try at Twickenham against England. Now he is in the French Police Force working in the South of France.
In this, the fourth Jacquot book, Martin O'Brien brings together a complex mystery of apparent accidental deaths, petty jealousies and attempted murder. The clues are all there, intermingled with the problems Jacquot encounters in both his personal and professional life. Martin's style of writing makes for a really easy read that pulls you into the story so well and leaves you feeling that Jacquot is an old friend who you hope to meet again in the near future.
Lets hope that it will not be too long before that happens in the fifth Jacquot book.
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on 20 September 2011
As this book and the series have attracted some negative reviews I felt that I should add my own more positive review. I've read 3 of the Jacquot books and have enjoyed them all. Whilst the books look quite chunky in paperback format, they are over 500 pages long in many cases they are quite easy reading, and with the short chapter format it is very tempting to just read another chapter, as you know you are not committing yourself to a long reading session. I cannot comment on whether there are any inaccuracies in the books regarding France as I have never been there, but it is a work of fiction, and perhaps should not be picked apart as a non fiction work could be. I have given it 4 stars as I definitely enjoyed it, and will buy more books by the author.
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on 16 January 2008
The crackerjack pace starts on page one with an intensely sexual, but murderous, prologue and the action doesn't let up until the exciting finale.
When Jacquot is united with his old rugby pals, he thinks he is in for a boisterous, gourmet celebration of past triumphs. He is wrong, for it seems someone is out to reek vengeance on his old team and one by one the guys are knocked off in a variety of mysterious ways. The journey for Jacquot is packed with fabulous French locations, food, wine, women and more mystery than a lesser inspector than Jacquot could possibly handle.
A book you should not and cannot put down. My only problem is that damned ponytail...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2008
Judging by the previous four reviewers, you would think this was a flawless novel. I assume they're die-hard fans (or friends of the author).

Jacquot and the Fifteen is based on a ridiculous premise. Various ex-members of the French national rugby team have reunited at the palatial home of their former captain. They now include the following professionals: policeman, billionaire businessman, architect, journalist, vicar, lawyer and surgeon. (Pull the other one!) Three of the former team have already died before the book starts, one of them in gratuitously gruesome circumstances. Then three more are murdered, and another dies after an accident (I gather this only from reading the last few pages; ploughing through the whole book was beyond me), so that by the end a total of seven former rugby players have snuffed it. This is famous men we're talking about, and you're expected to believe this could happen without the attention of the world's press battering on the doors. OK, fiction requires you to partially suspend belief, but this was laughable. You also get one of the flimsiest rationales imaginable for serial killing.

I suppose that if you don't have a problem with the credibility you might enjoy it. But it's not his best in terms of style, either: nearly all of the chapters I got through have a terribly lame ending, and it feels rushed and careless. He also chops sections that ought to constitute just one chapter into several very short ones, as if you can't be expected to cope with more than a few paragraphs at a time.

O'Brien does deserve success; in Jacquot, he's created a likeable detective, and his descriptions of the French landscape, culture and people are so good that his books are a cut above the average crime fiction. (One of them, Jacquot and the Angel, is a very enjoyable read.) But be warned about this one. And don't be conned by the fact that it has 530 pages: they're smaller than normal, with generous margins, and the lines are widely spaced, so in effect you only have 350 pages of a standard paperback.
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on 20 September 2007
Gosh!! I love Mr O Briens previous offerings, each book creates a sensuous world in which to lose yourself, but the pace of 'The Fifteen' is faster and perhaps a little punchier than Jacquots previous outings. The trademark ponytail is thankfully still there, as are the wonderfully evocative descriptions of France (this time we are on the Cote D'Azure) but the bodies and action keep coming. I genuinely couldn't put it down, you know a book is good when you leave the very last few pages to savour with a glass of Calva (what else ?).

The ending is a white knuckle ride.

Enjoy.
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This has a great premise - someone is killing off a French rugby team, eighteen years after the game in which police inspector Jacquot scored the winning try against England.

Adding to that description would have little point, so I'll just say that we see extravagant wealth and simple living, happy families and bitter ones as the 'flic' or cop investigates how his former team mates fared over the years.

Probably the best of the series in my mind - it's the fourth. You don't need to know much about rugby.
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on 14 June 2014
If you love Provence and the Cote d'Azur, and enjoy a thoroughly good read, you'll enjoy all the Jacquot novels.
It helps that he's a likable character, as are many of his pals.
Yes, sometimes it plods along, sometimes you can't put it down, however you find the content, it's always worth it.
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