This is a well told story in the thriller-whodunnit genre and it shows all the hallmarks and possesses all the cliches of that genre.
Enzo Macleod, of mixed Scottish and Italian descent working in France, is investigating a set of cold cases made famous in a book written by the ex-lover of the woman by whom he has had a baby who (the author) has just impregnated his older daughter who is not actually his daughter but is the daughter of his ex-wife and her lover, establishing his credentials as a policeman with a horrendously muddled genealogy.
This particular cold case involves the murder of a three-star Michelin chef. Enzo goes to live in the hotel (after placing his younger daughter undercover as an apprentice chef) which gives him ample opportunity to demonstrate his remarkable palate for wines and his own cooking ability.
Another character is the attractive lady gendarme with whom Enzo has an affair and who enables him to show off his knowledge of forensics.
So Enzo is your typical master sleuth, able to fill pages with detail to show off the author's research in an effort to make the whole story seem believable. It's a shame that he himself, the main character, is too good to be true.
There's quite a lot of action: Enzo is shot at twice and his daughter is taken hostage but a surprising dearth of clues. Solving the puzzle is not a major priority for the author.
It is quick and easy to read but it isn't a patch on the other Peter May book I have reviewed on this blog which is Lewis Man.
July 2015; 352 pages
- Having reviewed over 1100 books on this blog, I have now written one myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. It is available on Kindle through Amazon. Read it and find out whether this critic can write. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57