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on 24 November 2010
"Blood Counts" sucks you in from the very first paragraph and it was only sheer tiredness at the end of the day that forced me to put it down. I picked it up again as soon as I woke up.

I've read all the Jacquot novels and each book has improved on the previous one. This one is pacy, descriptive, consuming and you can smell the wild origani of the south of France. There is no predictability here and you're kept on tenterhooks right to the end with some nasty surprises.

I'd recommend this to anybody, young and old, because as soon as you've read it you're going to want to buy the previous five. Fantastic value for those who love a good detective novel and this particular detective drinks Calvados in the mornings (very French!), smokes, enjoys a joint from time to time and has a really interesting girlfriend. He solves cases too. This is not a dull man.
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2010
I must admit I didn't much care for the previous Jacquot book which just happened to be based totally in Marseilles. Perhaps it's no coincidence that this one, most of which is set around Cavaillon, is much much better. With the word 'vengeance' on the cover and the word 'Corsica' on the second page, you get the idea of what's to come and although much of it is predictable, I found it engrossing and finished it in three days. My wife says if I read a book upstairs and downstairs, it must be good! I do maintain there are better crime writers around but you do get a bit fed up with the hard-drinking, divorced, angst-ridden British detective after a while so it's good to go back to one who sits outside a small cafe with a ciggie and a drink - for breakfast!!! And then sits outside in the garden with a glass of something cold, insects buzzing, the sun going down over the Luberon. You're there!! Great stuff - I long for more. If you haven't tried Jacquot yet, you're missing a well-kept secret.
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on 26 February 2013
The Dying Minutes (Jacquot 7)was my introduction to Martin O'Brien's detective series set in the south of France. It's one of those where I enjoyed the whole journey from beginning to end, not wanting the book to finish; the quality of the writing rich and descriptive, the characters well-developed and real, the plot carefully constructed and delivered, the sense of place atmospheric and the scattering of delicious sounding food dishes - all made this a pure joy to read.

On finishing the book I immediately purchased Blood Counts (Jacquot 6) but was worried it might not be as good as The Dying Minutes. And so I delayed reading it. But I had no reason to worry at all - Blood Counts is every bit as good as The Dying Minutes. I read it in a few days and went straight to the Kindle store to find that most of O'Brien's Jacquot series are less than £3 (at time of writing). So I bought the ones I hadn't read and have started the series from the beginning, with The Waterman.

And it looks like O'Brien's writing is consistently excellent as The Waterman is a pure joy to read too.

I have to say that the Jacquot series is one of the best in crime fiction I have read and can only wonder how I haven't discovered these books when they were first written.

All Highly recommended!

Here are the books in order but you're not spoiling anything by reading them out of order. I certainly haven't.

The Waterman (2005)
The Master (2007)
The Fifteen (2008)
The Angel (2005)
Confession (2010)
Blood Counts (2011)
The Dying Minutes (2012)

Now looking forward with excitement to the 2013 Jacquot!
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on 14 November 2010
Martin O'Brien just gets better and better. If you have never read any of his books, read this one and you will be totally hooked! After the first few pages, you are drawn into Jacquot's world and find yourself soaking up every little detail. Martin continues to develop his characters and never fails to please. I found it hard to put this book down and it could possibly be his best yet. When you get to the end, you just know it's not the end but the beginning of the next instalment - the closing line leaves you wanting the next book......NOW!!!
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on 4 August 2011
As soon as you start reading you are there, the writing is so good you are actually in the story watching the action. the chapters are quite short which is helpful if you are a bedtime reader like myself and want to finish a chapter before sleep, although I fought off the sleep as long as I could. The story is so gripping that at times I have caught myself shouting No!out loud. cant wait tor the next
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on 14 November 2010
I always look forward to the release of a new Jacquot, and Blood Counts is no disappointment. Pacy, energetic, direct yet with more hidden turns than a B road through the Cevennes. I love the occasional culinary respites that immediately make you rush towards the store cupboard. Jacquot is the thinking man's king of cool, the gendarme's answer to Mikael Blomkvist. A first rate read.
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on 28 January 2013
This is a great series of books set in the Luberon region of France. The pace and style of life is described so well that reading a Jacquot book is like returning to your favourite holiday destination. The peaceful indolence of the lifestyle is regularly shattered by murder. 'Blood Counts' the 6th in the Jacquot series is a natural sequel to its predecessor 'Confession'. So if you have not read 'Confession' Confession best to do so and you will appreciate the pattern which emerges in 'Blood Counts'. Then like me you'll be yelling at Jacquot- wake up! it's obvious!, and becoming increasingly concerned that he's lost the plot!

'Blood Counts' is about revenge, revenge upon those who featured on the side of the good, in the kidnap story revealed and solved in 'Confession'. Jacquot gets the first clue of a possible connection to that crime with the first murder in this book which takes place virtually on his doorstep. He is a bit slow catching on to what is going on, even after a couple of killings. Then when he does eventually recognise the pattern, the connection, he fails again. He fails to think through who the remaining prospective targets are likely to be. He becomes so focussed on himself and his family as targets for the killer(s) that he doesn't warn others that they might get hit before he does. And they do. Come on Daniel - that is very poor indeed! I think he also missed some clear chances to intercept the killers before their work was done.

So I am not giving this a 4* score as a reward for Jacquot's skill as a detective but for Martin O'Brien's skill in ratcheting up the tension and excitement right to the bitter end. It kept me engaged all through and perversely Jacquot's flat footedness made it all the more exciting in a 'don't look now' sort of way.

My copy of the book is subtitled on the cover with the words 'Vengenance is mine' an alusion I presume to the Biblical reference 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord'. Of course had the characters in 'Blood Counts' followed this dictum there would be no story.
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on 29 August 2011
I have to admit my bias as I really enjoy Martin O'Brien's Jacquot books. I've read them all. The way O'Brien evokes the Luberon and Provence, both in landscape, food and smells takes me right there .. one of my favourite places. That said, I couldn't help a little impatience with Jacquot for taking so long to make the connection between clues. He's the Chief Inspector, not me! However, it's a really good read and I did enjoy it.
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Thanks to Amazon.UK reviewers who recommended this book (not available yet in the U.S.) Interesting context, fine characters--especially the protagonist, Chief Inspector Daniel Jacquot and a finely honed plot so full of tension that I found myself talking back to the text more than once ("No, don't do that!") The book has an appropriately smashing ending that guarantees to double the reader's heart rate before the last paragraph.

What I thought was especially fine about the story line was the exquisitely thought out concept of revenge, which. early on occurs without any obvious logic and takes down really decent people that the reader has been persuaded to care about. Eventually the Corsican connection with the matter leads to some explanation of the otherwise random killings, but that clarification only seems to intensify the terror already established in the story line.

I read a lot of international crime novels and I have to say that "Blood Counts" is one of the best I've come across in recent months. Kudos to author Martin O'Brien. I will be scanning Amazon reviews for other books by this very skilled writtr.
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on 7 December 2010
I love this book. I think it is faster paced than the last, with very tight plotting. I read 'hornets nest' just prior to this, and they are to me on a par. I agree with the reviewer who said Jacquot is a refreshingly easy to be with character, and the food references and descriptions of France add richness and depth. I could read this series again and again.
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