Review – Alex

Pierre Lemaitre – Quercus Books 2011

Several years have passed since the Criminal Mastermind known as the Novelist showcased his murder spree, damaging Camille Verhoeven in the process in the first book of this trilogy, Irene.  Camille, irreparably damaged but working nonetheless, reluctantly takes on his first kidnapping since Irene in this outstanding crime story.

…Alex Prevost – kidnapped, savagely beaten, suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse in a wooden cage – is running out of time.  Her abductor appears to only want to watch her die.

With very little information to go on Camille, in his meticulous manner leads the search to identify the kidnapper and their as yet, unknown victim.  But that is only the start of this story, Lemaitre’s astonishing twists are at their finest in this fast paced, gripping and extremely well written piece of fiction.

The now familiar cast of characters are all present, the likeable Commandant Camille Verhoeven, his side kicks Louis and Armand and his friend and superior Le Guen work tirelessly to get to the bottom of this horrendous crime.  The plot is excellent, twists and turns force the reader to adjust their perceptions as the story unfolds.  A tight conclusion  ties everything up with a neat final sentence considering truth and justice.

‘…oh the truth, the truth…. Who’s to say what’s true and what isn’t, Commandant? As far as we’re concerned what’s important is not the truth, it’s justice – right?’

This book was excellent, seriously I cannot rate it highly enough, worth taking a day off work for and reading in one go.  As with Irene the crimes are gruesome and the detail is graphic, Lemaitre’s writing is one hard hit and fast becoming my favourite crime writer.

Released in the UK before Irene, I commented previously that these books could be read as standalones, while that could be the case, I would recommend reading in order to avoid any Irene spoilers, there are many references back.

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