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Jacquot and the Waterman Hardcover – 7 Feb 2005

4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; First Edition edition (7 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755322843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755322848
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 24.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,637,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

O'Briens evocation of the hot vibrant and seedy French port in which everyone seems to be a either a cop or a criminal, and sometimes both, is as masterly as Ian Rankin's depiction of Edinburgh (Daily Mail)

An atmospheric and enthralling debut (Lancashire Evening Post)

Murder, mayhem and the seedy side of Marseilles make for a mesmerising mix (Northern Echo)

`Well-drawn, strongly flavoured setting in Marseilles...with grisly forensics offering vital clues as to the nature of the crime while skilfully concealing the whodunit...Rich, spicy and served up with unmistakeable relish` Literary Review

Exotic and different...This debut novel is exceedingly well written and entertaining (Huddersfield Daily Examiner) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A wonderful book for the francophile, it is not only a gripping detective story but also a highly atmospheric novel, bursting with warmth and wit.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jacquot and the Waterman by Martin O'Brien proved to be an exciting crime novel. Mr O'Brien has a wonderful way of telling the story, enticing the reader to follow him with his imaginative characters, deep into areas of the city of Marseilles that he obviously knows very well. His hero, a detective with an unusual background, is so vividly portrayed that you are drawn along with him in his passion to find the truth while being thwarted at every turn by both his colleagues and adversaries. It is a complete change from his very unusual first book and in Daniel Jacquot he has given us a hero who I am sure will become a firm favourite through a series of adventures in many books to come.
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Format: Paperback
I have a special shelf on my bookcase at home. It contains some of the best authors and my favourite books on there. O'Brien's Waterman has just lodged itself snugly onto that shelf. I bought it out of a recommendation by a friend, and now I can't wait to buy the sequel in Jacquot's fantastic adenture! One of the best reads in quite a while.

One thing I do enjoy is the amazing places and people in Marseilles that O'Brien leads you to. I also have an astonishing love for rugby murder-mysterys. Daniel Jaquot is the perfect fusion of both.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this story as a back up book on my way through Heathrow. Wow what a good find!! The story itself is a hot, gripping, claustrophobic tale, set against Marseilles. I was drawn into Jacquot (the Detectives) world chasing a sadistic murderer through the back streets of the city, always against the clock. I loved it. The ending is totally unexpected and left me anxious for more from this author.
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By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just purchased the complete series featuring Chief Inspector Jacquot, and having read this, the first of the series, I am looking forward to reading more. There are some problems with this book though. It is too bitty for me, lots of short chapters, a couple too many characters (eg the journalist) who don't add much to the story, maybe an extra strand of plot too much, it's almost as if the author is trying too hard. The "mystery" itself is a tad obvious and there are some plot inconsistencies but I am willing to forgive all this as the characterisation is top notch, the description of Provence and its callanques exquisite and the dialogue crisp and effective.

On the whole the advantages outweigh my, perhaps picky, criticisms and as a curate's egg there are many more good "bits" than bad.
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Format: Paperback
Daniel Jacquot is an ex-rugby player with a glittering career behind him, having achieved national fame scoring the winning try in a Five Nations final. Sadly, a troublesome injury put paid to his sporting talent and he has returned to his home town, Marseilles, as a chief inspector with the homicide squad. In this book we find him on the hunt for a serial killer who the tabloid press have dubbed 'The Waterman' due to his nasty habit of leaving his victims to a watery grave.

I found this to be a really solid, well-written thriller. It started slowly and took me a while to get into it, but after about the 100-page mark I was gripped. The whole thing is meticulously plotted with a large cast of supporting characters, and O'Brien takes the time to develop even minor players and give the reader a real insight into their thoughts and behaviour. The narrative is made up of fairly short chapters that flit back and forth between different locations and characters. This ensured I stayed engrossed throughout, as I was constantly wanting to read 'just a bit more' to find out what would happen in my favourite plot strands. Martin O'Brien spent a number of years as travel editor at British Vogue and I suspect he may have spent a decent amount of time in Marseilles to paint such a vivid picture of the city with its lively seafront and seedy underbelly.

Aside from the slightly silly tagline on the cover (WHO says drowning is easy?!! They are wrong!) the only real quibble I had with this book was with the ending. It initially seemed really abrupt and something of a cop-out - the author seems to have spent so much effort building a complex back-story with multiple plot strands and much of it is irrelevant to the final solution of the mystery.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It takes a while to get going but this story evokes Marseilles very well and Jacquot is a likeable character. It keeps you guessing and there are some interesting side-turns although maybe too many characters (like others, I wasn't sure what the American journalist brought to the party) so you often find yourself forgetting that x is y's mistress and not the gardener or a colleague mentioned once a hundred pages back. And the abruptness of the ending is strange to say the least But for all that I enjoyed it enough to give Jacquot another go.
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By Stevie VINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a lot of crime and I'm very fond of France, so this book looked like a good bet. I came to it fresh from one of Martin Walker's Bruno novels (The Dark Vineyard) and I was hoping for something as enjoyable.

The two books are very different. With Walker, you get a gentle pace and not very much of an attempt at verisimilitude, just a sort of Francophile homage to an idealised version of France - which I enjoy very much. O'Brien's Marseilles, on the other hand, might be any coastal city: there seemed little sense of place. His situations are grittier, the crimes more brutal, but the characters have the same mixture of cliche and depth.

I found the book rather ran out of steam towards the end (and I wonder of the editor did, too: all of a sudden I noticed a deluge of Americanisms (for example, a drink called "bourbon and branch", the term "busboy", the phrase "Paul had likely fathered the child") which hadn't generally been the case earlier in the novel). And the denouement was something of a cheat, appearing to have been rushed and tacked on.

I had the distinct impression that O'Brien was enjoying exploring his craft, and that he would be helped by good intelligent editing. I intend to read more by him.
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