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3.6 out of 5 stars
28
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 18 September 2017
This could and should have been edited in half. Sebag's family issues are superfluous. Apart from that, quite enjoyable.
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on 13 August 2014
A solid if not particularly inspired alternative to PC obsessed Swedes and food obsessed Italians. My main gripe is that the original French, that most European of languages, has been translated into American, that most un-European version of the English language. A French cop opening the 'trunk' of his 'sedan' in a 'parking lot'? For me that just doesn't fit and grated all through. Otherwise a readable and well plotted novel.
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on 1 March 2014
Not a bad little read but I got tired of central characters perfect wife who he suspected of infidelity. He could have found out the truth but chose not to. ( this is a policeman). Clever uncovering of one murderer (sad) but the real villain gets away with murder - past and present.
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on 7 April 2015
As well as the clunky language, none of the characters is appealing. Almost every single female character is portrayed as a temptress or nymphomaniac and the murder story itself is dreary and dragged out. I have no urge to visit that part of France now and certainly won't be reading any other books by this author. I read this for my book club. Awful.
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on 11 July 2013
I read this in the Italian version, so I can't comment on the English translation, but I really enjoyed this book, not so much for the plot, which revolves around the usual rather over-used rigmarole of the psychopathic serial killer, nice but nothing particularly exciting, but for the tasty side-dish effect of its particular details.
The first, of course, is the setting: the highly-coloured Roussillon region of southern France - not to be confused with the famous Provencal town of the same name - close to the Pyrenees, where the language spoken is a strange blend of French and Catalan, and coffee seems to play a vital role in the lives of its inhabitants. It's not an area I know at all, but the book inspired in me an immediate desire to go there.
The inspector's refreshing mountain walks are so vividly and realistically described that you too feel as if you're searching in those cool shady spots for a little comfort from the deadly summer heat.
The second reason is the character of the police inspector, Sebag, with his all-too human imperfections, unusual perhaps in this type of book for his devotion to family rather than work, so tender in his enduring love for his beautiful wife and in his tormenting doubts regarding her fidelity. He's a man who's not afraid of showing weakness, one whose life you're keen to follow in order to see what happens.
The third is the cats, in general, and especially this story's particular cat who, bored and sapped by the heat, decides to abandon his garden to keep the inspector company by the swimming pool. Mysterious and elusive as the book's killer, but without his dark soul. I've already got the second Italian book in the series at home - perfect reading for the summer hols ...
(Bianca Orazi)
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2013
Having read the first pages the author's prose and voice grabbed my attention. This a fluently written and highly readable crime novel; and for me it made a pleasing change from American, British and Scandinavian crime novels. So if you're looking for a good read - whether on holiday or not - you can't do much better than this. Intrigue, mystery and murder are interwoven with interesting and believable characters and an excellent evocation of place. Highly recommended.
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on 15 October 2013
This book delivers what is promised on the dust jacket: an entertaining, well plotted and well paced reading experienced - an unusual serial killer is on the loose in Perpignan and is being tracked by a team of detectives. The detective on whom we focus most is happily married but is surprised to find out that he has unsuspected difficulties in his relationship with his wife - and has been suffering the career consequences of a move to part-time working some years previously when he first had children.

A real sense of Perpignan is delivered - the place and the culture. And alongside this a credible characterisation of the lead detective and his life - and perhaps also of the serial killer (though it's hard to know for sure without having studied the subject). We get a sense of the office politics of Perpignan police life; the plot moves at sufficient pace and in directions that the reader doesn't always anticipate. So: an enjoyable reading experience.
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on 29 May 2015
Well plotted, entertaining, police procedural novel. Interesting characters, tension within and between forces, that sort of thing. Nice local colour - I spent last summer in exactly the places it describes, and it was fun to visit them again even in the context of kidnapping and murder. It's a first novel and sometimes a bit clunky, but the plot really carries it along. I literally couldn't put it down - it's not short but I had to finish it in a few sittings.
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on 25 July 2014
This was the best detective story I have read for a long time. The plot unfolded gradually with sub- plots especially the one relating to the main detective's marriage (which by the way was left unclarified to be resolved perhaps in the next book which I gather is on the way) and, although the denouement was perhaps predictable, it still held my attention until the very end
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on 13 September 2014
I have enjoyed many French crime novels but I abandoned this one about halfway through - very rare for me in any eurocrime, and I read a lot of them.

I like detectives to have a bit of personal life, but soppy Gilles and his kids and ridiculously gorgeous wife were laying it on with a trowel. I also found the Americanisms annoying.
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