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4.2 out of 5 stars26
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2009
I have never been a great one for crime, the gore gets to me (!) but The Jacquot series have been a revelation. This one is set in Marseilles, and what I love about these books is you get so much more than murders. The descriptions of places, food, people sounds and sights are so vivid, so enjoyable, you feel you are in the little cafes and seedy back-streets. Within the first page I was gripped, if you read it you will know why......Loved it.
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on 18 March 2012
This is inspector Daniel Jacquot the former French rugby star as you don't know him. Working undercover in Marseilles with his pony tail shorn off. By Jacquot standards this is a gruesome tale. It tells the story of young girls kidnapped from across Europe, drugged and delivered to Marseilles for the export trade in white slaves. The interaction between their captors, who are inconvienced by a dock strike, and one of the local crime families is the meat of the story. Be prepared for some quite graphic descriptions of torture and murder by the saadist thugs. The story will certainly hold your attention.

I felt though that, like Samson, Jacquot's power was shorn off with his pony tail. The unravelling of this case is driven by the 'visions' of the attractive Marie-Ange and without her role everything would have turned out very differently. Perhaps a little bit of the 'supernatural' adds spice to a plot but I think there is an over-reliance on it in this book. It stretched this reader's patience and devotion to Jacquot. Perhaps in the next book in the series Jacquot will be back on home territory, with Claudine, using his brain and intelligence to solve crime rather than the crutch of the psychic revelations of miss Marie-Ange. Let's hope.
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VINE VOICEon 22 January 2010
Sorry to be a downer but why on earth did O'Brien take Jaquot back to Marseille? Perhaps selfishly, I'd got to love reminiscing about those little roads, squares and cafes in rural Provence. OK, this is crime fiction and there is more to find in Marseille docks let's face it than up in the hills. I did feel though that Jaquot himself, although technically on home turf wasn't what I believe to be 'himself'. I don't think his burgoning relationship is tackled well and I'm afraid I really really didn't like the return of Marie Ange. I simply cannot accept the 'insight' she apparently brings. I wish he'd left her as a one-off.
I wonder if, like me, many read Jaquot for the locale and the atmosphere. [There are, I have to say, better crime novels around.] I have happy memories of Provence, but not of Marseille's docks! And I'm sure many of you know of the up-and-coming Bruno in the Dordogne. Jaquot's been a great trip so far and I hope he bounces back but I do feel this one was a blip.
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on 20 June 2010
I am an enthusiastic follower of Jacquot's series and I was looking forward to a new Jacquot's story. However, O'Brien's last work is unsatisfactory and not good enough to compete with other crime novels. Don't get me wrong, O'Brien is a high-quality descriptive author with creatively vivid illustrations in his writing. The problem with this book is the plot. Marie-Ange's superficial visions are ridiculous while the non-stop killings without police intervention are completely unreasonable and too far fetched. This plot could fit more in the Latin America environment rather than Marseille's environment.
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on 3 March 2014
This book came promptly and was, as ever, an excellent read from Martin O'Brien. I cannot understand why his books are not more widely available - it's very hard to find them in a bookshop! The book wasn't in as good condition as I had expected, but Reuseabook's customer service was excellent and they promptly apologised for their oversight and refunded my payment immediately. I would use Reuseabook again, and I am only sorry that I have now read every Martin O'Brien that I can find! Impatiently awaiting another book featuring Daniel Jacquot.
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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 4 February 2014
I have read these books in sequence. In this book,maybe the author was advised to include more sex and violence . The body count is just too high, the sex just too deviant and these dominate the weakish plot, and seem to diminish the characters. In previous books the plot is stronger, and the characters the main feature.These , and the marvellous sense of place,are what made the books enjoyable.
Marie-Ange's powers are not convincing and are a lazy device to solve the plot wrinkles.

In Marseilles, the archetypal maritime city, with literally thousands of vessels moored in its marinas and docks, it is not plausible that Jacquot, the veteran detective did not immediately realize that the ransom victim was being held in a vessel.
Perhaps Jacquot lost his powers without his ponytail.
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on 16 October 2011
This is the first book I've read by Martin O'Brien and I'm straight back for more. You really feel the sounds, smells and atmosphere in Marseilles, as well as the tension and murder. Great writing. More please!
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on 18 November 2010
As per previous Jaquot stories, the plot is well thought out and executed.The only criticism is the reliance on dreams of psychic Marie-Ange Buhl. I felt that this was a ploy to avoid a more cerebral investigation of the crimes.Other than that it was a very good story.
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on 11 January 2016
This the first of a 2-part story (though it doesn't tell you that) which continues with Blood Counts. More explicit that previous Jacquot novels, O'Brien has really upped his game. Couldn't wait to finish it and felt bereft when I had. A must-read.
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