What happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher at the École Nationale d’Administration, who trained some of France’s best and brightest as future prime ministers and presidents, vanished ten years ago, presumably from Paris. This ten-year-old mystery inspires a bet—one that Enzo Macleod, a biologist teaching in Toulouse, France, instead of pursuing a brilliant career in forensics back home in Scotland, can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to a cold case.
Enzo goes to Paris to meet journalist Roger Raffin, the author of a book on seven celebrated unsolved murders, the assumption being that Gaillard is dead. He needs Raffin’s notes, and armed with these, he begins his quest. It quickly has him touring landmarks such as the Paris catacombs and a château in Champagne, digging up relics and bones. Then Enzo finds the actual head of Jacques Gaillard. The artifacts buried with the skull set him to interpreting the clues they provide and following in someone’s footsteps—maybe more than one someone—seeking the rest of Gaillard’s remains and reviewing some ancient and recent history. As with any quest, it’s as much discovery as detection, and Enzo, despite all his missteps, proves to be an ace investigator, scientific and intuitive, who definitely meets his goals.
Peter May is a Scottish television screenwriter, novelist, and crime writer. He has won several literary awards for his novels.
©2006 Peter May (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“This travelogue-cum-murder mystery makes for a fun puzzle.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A thoroughly engaging puzzle.” (Library Journal)
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I am always looking for new books in the mysteries and thrillers category. I tried this on a whim and am so glad that I did.
This is not the formulaic finding gruesome crime scenes and trying to put together the clues to find the killer. It's a cold case based on some dry bones and scavenger hunt type clues that lead to more bones with more clues. During the process of solving the old crime, there are some new victims and an array of potential perpetrators.
Enzo himself has an interesting professional background and personal life. He is challenged to this seemingly impossible task both intellectually and monetarily. He is urged on and abetted by the (good guy) challenger. However, he is also led astray by the bad guys.
I found this a delightful change in the murder mystery genre. I look forward to listening to all of the other Enzo Files books.
Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader and now avid listener. I read at least one book a week and listen to an average of two per week. However, I am a snob and have yet to listen to my favorite novels preferring still to read some works.
The story was okay, but once again it was Vance that made it worth listening. The story was a little predictable and overwrought. It was entertaining, but not totally engrossing.
I would try another book written by May, but not tops on my must read.
Enzo McLeod, a big Scott who now lives and teaches forensic science in France, has a bet with a friend that he can solve a number of cold cases using modern forensic science. He tackles one case per book. Naturally, lots of people do not want them solved and so mayhem ensures.
Enzo has a cast of interesting recurring characters and is written with good humor. Entertaining and interesting books.
Yes, absolutely. Absorbing story.
Yes, This story was never boring. All of the clues and how Enzo and the other piece it all to gether was very interesting.
There are few narrators better than Simon Vance. He moves effortlessly from French accents (male and female) with Scottish. Very convincing in all.
oh yes. both laugh and cry.
I didn't want this book to end. I will immediately get the next in the series and explore the others written by Peter May.
right up the top
enzo - he is clever but so vulnerable
love - the power and the poison
Great story with interesting characters. Love Simon Vance. I am moving on to the Enzo stories.
I guess if believable characters and a plausible plot are not important, a reader might enjoy the atmosphere. The book does have a sense of place.
Have the protagonist act more rationally. I can take a certain amount of silliness if the character is drawn as a silly irrational person. Peter May created a forensic biologist who just does not act believably to me.
Also he could have had more than one inevitable villain. Without the clues, the lady after her introduction was so obviously going to turn out to be the villain.
The only writer who has ever pulled off the murder by a group was Agatha Christie and she made the victim so detestable that it made sense that a group decide to cooperate in the murder. May did not give any clues that the victim was hated so vehemently.
Someone less dramatic. He rather took over the book by making every line of dialogue so dramatic.
Actually, it was promising at first then I could not wait for it to be over.
The plot just made no sense. I think that is what bothered me most.
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