It was actually another listener's very brief review that drew my attention to this excellent book, and for that I am grateful. This book was simply *..Show More »outstanding* at every level, including Gordon Griffin's amazing narration!
Adrian Magson has created characters and story that almost cannot be put down, because not only is the plot line so compelling, the actual writing itself is also very engaging. Magson has created characters that felt very real to me, but his prose allowed the book to be many dimensional, as I could picture (even smell) the countryside, the marais (marsh area), even Paris. It was his attention to the smallest details that fleshed this book out to be more than just another ordinary police procedural. I came away with vivid images in my mind of the area of Picardie where most of the story occurs.
And oh, does Magson create great characters!I loved that he placed no-nonsense, emotionally wounded Inspector Lucas Rocco, ex-military, now police, in a situation where he is himself new and out of his Parisian comfort zone, due to an "initiative" to put more experienced men into less served areas. He must meet all the people in the small village of Poissons-Les-Marais, people who have known each other forever. Rocco must size them up quickly, because trouble does not take long to appear.
He must decide whether he can trust people like Claude, who is already the garde champêtre in this area, and Rocco doesn't know if Claude is resentful that he's been sent onto his patch. And to his horror, he finds himself now faced with Massin, his new superior officer, who was once his commanding officer during the war, and about whom Rocco knows information that makes Massin hate and fear him. Can he trust Massin to support his efforts in solving this powerful crime? Or will Massin undermine him, to make his threatening presence go away?
A young woman, wearing a Nazi uniform, has been found drowned, and her body is whisked away so quickly, that Rocco immediately becomes suspicious of the circumstances, and instigates and all-out effort to learn what happened. His investigation leads to people in high places, and takes them back to the resistance efforts during the war. The action is fast-paced, a bit more so than I usually like, but in this book, it was great!
It is no contradiction to say that this book is both a powerful page turner, and yet seemed to me to be as tightly and smoothly written as velvet. If there were small places where the writing or reading seemed a bit less-than-perfect, I really did not mind at all. Put it up to the fact that writer and narrator are both human, after all. :-)
I cannot leave off without commenting on the amazing narration of Gordon Griffin. The man has a spectacular ability with voices, his inflections and timing are just about flawless. I'm going to be looking for more books by Adrian Magson, and also books narrated by Gordon Griffin. The two worked together here, almost like magic. Highly recommend this book. Wish I could put 10 stars in all three categories.
So this is the second book in what looks like it will be a series by Adrian Magson, about Inspector Lucas Rocco. Rocco is former military, and most re..Show More »cently has been working for the police in Paris, until an "initiative" sent more experienced people into less populated areas. This is how he got to be located in the tiny village of Poissons-Les-Marais in Picardie north of Paris. In the first book, he is struggling to get to know people, figure out whom he can trust, etc--even as he is immediately put to work on a challenging case.
In this book, he is a bit more settled, though still has an uneasy relationship with his superior officer, Massin. He is now presented with a case that is both dangerous and culturally sensitive, because it partially involves the human trafficking that is done between Northern Africa and France, and also mafia-like people. Both books are very good, though I liked the first one a *slight* bit better (felt this one had a little more violence than my comfort level would prefer). Both are action-packed, smoothly written, characters more developed.
The only difference that is truly noticeable is between narrators. Gordon Griffin read the first book--and I think his voice got imprinted on my mind in a way that hearing the difference with Roger May's narration was kind of startling. May is also an excellent narrator, and the only reason I gave him 4 stars is that his very British accent seems odd for a book that takes place in France. (That is possibly where Griffin did a better job). It looks like May will be the narrator going forward--and that's fine. He does a good job with various voices and inflection and timing--everything one hopes for in a good narrator. I just wish he could make the book sound more French and less British. Highly Recommend! Very good series.