by Pierre Lemaitre
My rating: 4 of 5 starsAlex
is one of a series of novels about Parisian detective Camille Verhoeven. Verhoeven is a diminutive, combative figure, still getting over the death of his wife. Against his will, he is assigned to investigate the kidnapping of a mysterious young woman in broad daylight.
As Verhoeven struggles to progress the investigation, or even identify the victim, the girl - Alex - is subjected to torture and an impending death in horrific circumstances. Verhoeven's feelings conflating the girl's potential fate and that of his wife seem to be hindering his progrss, to the annoyance of the supervising magistrate.
To go any further would be to reveal some of the splendid twists and turns in what is a gripping, enthralling and macabre novel. Lemaitre takes the reader on a ride where you are never quite sure what to make of the key figures in the case, and draws you in deeper and deeper until the grim explanation for the kidnapping is revealed.Alex
is the second novel in the Verhoeven series. It is very irritating that, for some inexplicable reason, Lemaitre's English language publishers have chosen to publish it first. At various points in this book, the author gives away most of the plot of the first book, Irene
. Bad luck if you plan on reading both. If you get the chance, make sure you read Irene
first, but don't miss reading Alex
.View all my reviews