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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Jacquot and the Angel
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on 11 November 2005
Mr O’Brien has, in ‘Jacquot and the Angel', led us away from Marseilles into the french countryside to the town of Cavaillon and it’s neighbouring villages. The local characters are described in such interesting detail that you feel that if you stopped for a drink at Mazzelli’s in the village square you would know the locals so well that you would feel that you were part of the story. If you are into murder mysteries you are in for a good read. Starting with a multiple murder, Jacquot single-mindedly takes the reader on a convoluted journey, with further murders to muddy the waters. The introduction of the intuitive ‘Angel’ adds the icing on the cake in this his second novel in what I hope will prove to be a long series of books.
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on 25 September 2005
Number 2 is hot off the presses and Martin again brings us to Jacquot - Mr O'Brien has developed another gripping story that had me on the edge of the sofa till the last.
His characters are very well developed and it was great to see some familiar names appear.
Some great descriptions of the beautiful countryside, you can place youself in Southern France as you read - I could almost feel the Mistral on my face!
The evocative use of the past to bring the present to life is excellent and the use of human traits found everywhere should have led me the outcome - but as in Waterman (O'Briens first novel)the plot was thick with intrigue and mystery. He must be a master of observation to have so many deep characters in his plots.
Jacquot uses all the available help to solve this one and the Angel is key to everything that happens - she is full of the intuition that a French Ingenue would show. If you enjoy Conelly, Rankin or Childs you will love O'Brien.
any chance that we will not have to wait as long for the next one? get typing in that shed
Once again an excellent read and congratulations to the Author!
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on 23 November 2009
Having read all 4 books of the Jacquot series, with 'Confession' still to be read. I have enjoyed all of them but the 'Angel' is chronologically the 4th in the series.
'Waterman' is first, 'Master' second and 'Fifteen' third.
My one niggle is that the publishers have not seen fit to inform readers of this fact as I have read them out of sequence.
The reader loses nothing of the suspense in reading them out of sequence but it puts Jacquot's relationship with Claudine into slight disarray!
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on 3 July 2006
I loved this book. It is wonderfully written with interesting characters so well described they all become critical to the story. O'Brien takes several story threads and masterfully weaves them together with elements of pathos into a tapestry of clues, intrigue and the impact of the past on the present. His descriptions of Jacquot's French country town made me want to pack my bag but are also a reminder that small towns around the world are virtually the same. O'Brien does a wonderful job connecting the present to the past. He has a masterfully subtle touch, particularly with the inclusion of the psychic. I anxiously await Jacquot's next case.
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on 26 September 2005
Jacquot and the Angel finds our hero now in Cavaillon, in the Luberon,away from the bustle of Marseilles,investigating a multiple murder.From the very start the tension is set,the plot unfolding at the agreeable pace of following a river downstream,the twists and turns throwing up characters and possibilities,the occasional white water accelerating the process until the quite brilliantly evocative denoument.This book is unputdownable.Congratulations Mr O'Brien.I just want to know when we see Jacquot again.
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VINE VOICEon 9 January 2008
Not at all easy to follow a successful debut, but O'Brien has managed it with a slightly different type of story, with few but Jacquot himself remaining. Although I enjoyed 'Waterman', liked immediately the character of Jacquot and the sometimes seamy atmosphere of Marseilles, this book takes 'atmosphere' to another level! Totally different in that it's set in a small town in rural Provence, his descriptions of people and the town itself are a total pleasure. There were times when, quite honestly, the murder plot didn't matter and I was content to just sit there, taking a long, leisurely lunch under the hot sun or sympathising with people having to put up with the awful Mistral. And even there, Jacquot has to be different - he says he loves the wind, seeing it as a sort of bar-room brawler pushing everybody out of its way. Totally different from any other crime writer I know of. Book 3 is on order - I sincerely hope he goes on and on and without letting standards drop as, sadly, some others have. Very highly recommended!!!!
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on 2 March 2006
Inarguably better than Jacquot and the Waterman, which in itself was one of the best debut novels I've read. The Angel concentrates more on plot, has fewer characters and as a result keeps the reader spellbound and unable to go to sleep until the last page is digested.
O'Brien's mastery of local characters and his evident love of the French way of life comes across vividly as you can enjoy vicariously the sinking of many glasses of Pastis in the local cafe while enjoying the goings on in the square.
Great book, this man will be up there soon with all the crime fiction masters and a very worthy member of thatexclusive brotherhood.
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on 6 September 2007
A delightfully written crime novel with attractive plot of multiple murders, a wonderful protagonist with unique style and humour, and a colourful scene of French province marrying beautifully the characters with the village life. I found all the chapters related to Jacquot and the plot mystery attention-grabbing. I was unable to put the book down without finishing these chapters and I had to devote time afterwards to absorb the plot and the scenery. However, I found the chapters related to description of the local characters too detailed and unrelated to the plot. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on 14 August 2014
This is entertaining enough but it's hardly a five star read. Jacquot is immensely likeable. He's out of Marseilles in this one and deep in the French countryside. His life and relationship with Claudine is well-described. As is small town French life wonderfully-described and evoked.

The plot itself is readable enough. It links the Second World War to the present and the characters and storyline meander along pleasantly and intriguingly enough. The role of the Angel took the story rather further into the paranormal than I personally look for and the characters who commit the murders have, shall we say, numerous other options they choose not to deploy before summarily reaching for the shotgun.

The modern day German connection was intriguing but just fell away at one point. For the close attention the German authorities paid the case suggests they knew rather more about the present day links than was ever explained. And, without spoiling the outcome, once you do know the identity of the killer and the motives you don't immediately draw the conclusion that the case would have damaged modern-day German sensibilities. And at no point after the initial arrest does the modern day German angle play a part. So what was that all about?

It's all a pleasant enough holiday read, not least if your going to the south of France, and I'd happily read more of the series. But I think a mid-ranking rating is a more objective assessment than some of the rave reviews on here. It entertained me but it's not a classic. Finally, these books bear a striking similarity to the Bruno books written by Martin Walker set in a different part of Southern France albeit with less recipes in the Jacquot series. So is Martin Walker the same person as Martin O'Brien?
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on 18 July 2007
You know you've found a good author when his 2nd book is as original and as gripping as his 1st. O'Brien's style of writing is very unique and it could have gone horribly wrong. Luckily for us and for him, he has perfected it, and I was stunned by his execution of detail and brilliant delivery of a story. Long live Daniel Jacquot, long live Martin O'Brien and long live Outstanding Sequels!
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