Winner of the CWA International Dagger
In kidnapping cases, the first few hours are crucial. After that, the chances of being found alive go from slim to nearly none. Alex Prevost – beautiful, resourceful, tough – may be no ordinary victim, but her time is running out. Commandant Camille Verhoeven and his detectives have nothing to go on: no suspect, no lead, rapidly diminishing hope.
All they know is that a girl was snatched off the streets of Paris and bundled into a white van. The enigma that is the fate of Alex will keep Verhoeven guessing until the bitter, bitter end. And before long, saving her life will be the least of his worries.
©2011 Éditions Albin Michel, Paris (P)2013 Quercus Publishing PLC
“Grippingly original . . . It enthralls at every stage of its unpredictability” (The Times)
“The book moves from read-as-fast-as-you-can horror to an intricately plotted race to a dark truth” (Guardian)
"Harsh, fierce crime writing with a Gauloise tinge. It would not be out of place filmedin black-and-white by the late, lamented Francois Truffaut" (Daily Mail)
The novel disappoints on several counts. It lacks compassion, deriving a kind of ghoulish delight in dealing with difficult themes such as sadism, mutilation, disfigurement. It lacks an intelligent plot. The characters are sketched without care; they bumble on in a world that lacks a social contour, maiming and chopping at each other without having a compelling reason to do so. The scenes of violence would remind one of the equally vacuous so called French 'Cinema of the Body'. The author exerts minimum social and cultural accountability, is disparaging towards women and towards the values of a multi-cultural world. And, the writing is stilted, non-lyrical, predictable and prosaic.
Its a story that is meant to sell purely on its stomach-turning descriptions of blood, gore, sadism, mutilation, and violence against children. It has a banal plot. Its characters bland and boring. The writing is stilted, unimaginative, non-lyrical, pedantic.
He overacts. Creates a false sense of drama where there is none. Loud and noisy. The voice is so full of himself that you want to shut it down.
No redeeming qualities. How come it got published?
Never trust the Guardian's recommendations
"Brutal and addictive"
If you can stomach the violence, this is a wonderful twist on the crime genre. French noir, thumbs up from Norway.
"Trying too hard to shock"
Early teenage horror fans.
All were caricatures. David Rintoul is a good actor and narrator, if maybe a little over effusive at times, but even he couldn't do anything with the joke characters in this book.
Head shaking disappointment.
After reading other reviews I was a bit wary of this book, but I decided to risk it if for no other than the title was my own name.Child abuse seems to be the current vogue in crime books. Despicable enough in itself, but the author seemed to throw in every 'yeuch' element he could to move the book closer to horror than crime fiction. The more he tried to shock the more pathetic the book became and the more apathetic I became to the plot and characters. Do police forces not have a minimum height requirement any more? A 4' 11'' cop with a famous artist mother? Really? An extreme fatso cop in designer duds that women find attractive for some reason (never explained)? A cop with so much money that four future generations will be able to live comfortably on his wealth, but is working as a cop? The quirks just kept on coming, and THEN we had the crimes. People tortured and killed in ways that would make The Abominable Dr. Phibes seem like a benevolent uncle? Trash.
"Ok, didn't really keep my interest."
Hard to say, it just wasn't really a "page turner" for me ... lost my interest after a bit.
No. I don't think I'll listen to any others by this author.
Worse - apathy!
"Harsh but compelling"
I prefer listening to crime genre. This, however, left me feeling nauseous at times. I almost gave up after the first hour, then the first twist occurred. Later I wanted to give up once more, but the story twisted again.
I have mixed feelings. Audible has not sold this story accurately. While a fascinating read/listen, it is gorily violent at times. Potential listeners should be forewarned. That said, it is a worthy story and well narrated.
Yes without a doubt. The plot was beautifully crafted and the characters were very complete. Also the storyline was gripping from beginning to end.
I didn't have a favourite character. They were all crucial to the plot.
He is a brilliant narrator.
I was pulling my fingernails out at the beginning.
If you like thrillers you MUST read this. Be prepared for the beginning, it's not for the feint-hearted. A bit gruesome but after that it is tamer!
The story twists and turns right all the way, and ends up as a totally different story than what is expected at the start.
I have to say probably as I have not read any. However the audio edition is excellent. The narration fits the tone and feel of the book.Having listened to the book I have no desire to read the book though.
There are quite a few, you'll just have to listen to it.There are some gory moments that made me wince. Plus some characters that were so sharply dissected with words that it made me wince too.
He has a voice that is very easy on the ear but brings the story to life that keeps you listening. He is excellent and a natural storyteller.
Modern French Noir.
I have now bought the other two books in the series and they are shaping up to be just as good.Addictive stuff.
"A pacy, original, well-written detective story"
The twists and turns in the plot.
When I realised that the story was heading off in a new direction to the one I thought it was headed.
No, but this was excellently performed.
I listen to these books to be entertained and to pass the time on long car journeys. I was thoroughly entertained.
"Really Enjoyed It"
Old-fashioned Police Chase.
Day of the Jackal - man hunt with the 'baddie' always one step ahead.
The interview scene nearing the end of the book.
Grimace in places.
"Good police thriller"
I'm afraid this just seemed to lack the sort of character and atmosphere that I find makes a really good thriller. Nonetheless a well plotted thriller, with twists and turns, but perhaps the twists are seen coming too soon?
"Good narrator saves the book"
Pity he wasnt used for book 1 and 3. That narrator just killed the books for me.
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