Alex-Pierre LeMaitre; Frank Wynne (translator)

Pierre LeMaitre; Frank Wynne (translator)
MacLehose/Quercus, Sep 3 2013, $24.95
ISBN: 9781623650001

In Paris thirty year old Alex Prevost knows she has become a beautiful young woman yet has doubts about her looks as she never forgets her days as a stammering ugly teen. She notices the fiftyish male seemingly following her, as she saw him in the Metro, the street and outside a shop; but assumes she is being inanely paranoid though her nervousness about him makes her stammer.

Alex starts to walk home when a van pulls up next to her. That same man grabs her hair but pulls off her wig so she he punches her in the stomach causing her to puke before flipping her into the van and driving away. A witness walking his dog tells height deprived Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven what happened. Though he prefers the case was not his as he still grieves the abduction-murder of his wife, Camille realizes he must ignore his feelings since his only experienced peer Morel is in Lyons and knows time is running out on the victim especially when no demands from the kidnapper surfaces.

This is a terrific twisting thriller anchored by a dark description of Paris by how Camille sees the City of Lights. With two fully developed supporting cops on the lead team, readers will appreciate this exciting French police procedural as the hero, who faces constant height deficient prejudice, believes the victim is already dead.

Harriet Klausner

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