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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Affairs of State--Dominique Manotti, 10 Feb 2010
Simon Clarke (Hackney, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Affairs of State (Eurocrime) (Paperback)
The award winning French crime writer,Dominique Manotti, is also a Professor
of economic history.Her latest novel is set in 1985,with
Mitterand as President of France.
The complex plot involves illegal arms trading with Iran
during the Iran-Iraq war,and at the centre of this is the
President's corrupt security adviser and friend,Bornard.
His nefarious influence spreads over brothels,drugs,prosecutions,
and anything else that gets in his way.Amidst this corruption
in high places,a young keen female Arab-French police investigator,
Noria Ghozali, is determined to solve a murder,but in the process
the corruption at the top is exposed.
An enjoyable,crisply written,fast-paced thriller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Corruption, crime and politics in 1980s France, 23 Aug 2014
Brian R. Martin (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Affairs of State (Eurocrime) (Paperback)
To appreciate this thriller you have to understand the political situation in France in the 1980s. The socialists, out of power for decades, finally returned by winning the 1981 elections, with Mitterand as President. Now, in 1985, they are preparing to defend their position in elections scheduled for early 1986. French politics at this time was an even dirtier business than usual, where senior politicians and party members had dubious links with underworld characters and corrupt policemen.

One of the former is François Bornand, a businessman and longtime friend of, and advisor to, Mitterand. He has a shady past as a collaborator during the war, but is now in charge of a special unit of police responsible for the President's security and leading the fight against terrorism in France. Bornand is a corrupt opportunist, with interests in drugs, brothels and arms dealing, and to increase his own power and influence, involves himself in illegally supplying arms to Iran. But things start to go wrong when a plane carrying a cargo of missiles is destroyed over Turkey. Rumours about his involvement, which could rebound on the President, begin to appear and seem to originate from a high-class prostitute Bornand frequently uses.

The plot then becomes far more involved when she is found murdered and both the Crime Squad and their fierce rivals, the police Intelligence service, become involved. Noria Ghozali, initially a member of the former, is a young ambitious female Arab-French police investigator, and is determined to solve the murder. Later she transfers to the Intelligence branch and eventually the original murder is solved and corruption exposed, but not before several other murders are committed and an investigating magistrate commits suicide.

This is a complex novel, with a heady mix of politics, murder, intrigue, blackmail, corruption and sex (even incest). The pace of the action is fast and the quality of the writing is good, but I sometimes had difficulty keeping track of the large cast of characters and their shifting allegiances. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable book that I recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A THRILLING ROLLER COASTER RIDE, 5 Jun 2012
KOMET (WASHINGTON, DC - U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Affairs of State (Eurocrime) (Paperback)
WHAT A ROLLER COASTER RIDE!!! I LOVED IT!!! This novel has all the highmarks of a taut thriller.

France 1985. The nation is on the eve of elections, scheduled for March 1986. The Socialists, after being in the political wilderness for decades, came to power in 1981. Several party members and associates occupy key positions (officially and unofficially) in the government. One of them - François Bornand, a businessman and longtime close friend of the President with a shady wartime past, is in charge of the Élysée unit, "the team of police officers and gendarmes responsible for protecting the President's security and coordinating the fight against terrorists in France."

Bornand, as a way of enhancing his own power and influence, involved himself in operations involving illegal arms shipments to Iran. A plane carrying missile shipments is mysteriously brought down over Turkey and things turn topsy-turvy. Word of the operations begins to leak out. Suspicion is placed on a young woman, a high-class prostitute who was one of Bornand's favorites from an international call-girl service in Paris he frequently used. Bornand has her tailed. She's murdered and later found by the Crime Squad. The ensuring drama grows in complexity and excitement as various other characters from the various police agencies and criminal elements come into play, both in Paris and in the Middle East. There is never a dull moment in this novel.

I leave it to the curious readers of this review to check out "Affairs of State" for themselves. Hold on tight. You won't want to let go. THIS IS A TERRIFIC STORY with much more to it beyond what I've indicated here.
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Affairs of State (Eurocrime)
Affairs of State (Eurocrime) by Dominique Manotti (Paperback - 26 Nov 2009)
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