Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The 7th women by Frédérique Molay

(Paris Homicide Book 1)
Le French Book
254 pages - 9.95 $ (kindle)

Once becomes habit one might say... here I am, reading French thrillers in English! It's great to see that French authors are translated into English, it proves that the French thriller is doing well and it can appeal readers from everywhere. So I read this book in English, with the editor The French Book that mean to translates French books they loved.

The blurb

There’s no rest for Paris’s top criminal investigation division, La Crim’. Who is preying on women in the French capital? How can he kill again and again without leaving any clues? A serial killer is taking pleasure in a macabre ritual that leaves the police on tenterhooks. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky—a super cop with a modern-day real life, including an ex-wife, a teenage son and a budding love story—races against the clock to solve the murders as they get closer and closer to his inner circle. Will he resist the pressure? The story grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the last page, leading you behind the scenes with the French police and into the coroner’s office. It has the suspense of Seven, with CSI-like details, giving a whole new dimension to Paris.

What I think of it

I liked the build up of the novel. Initially a simple investigation for a particularly gruesome murder. Then the search for a serial killer and eventually a race against time to save the seventh victim. The book reads quickly and the reading is fluid. The beginning is very technical and we're involved in the initial autopsy as if we were there (which is not necessarily appreciated by everyone). All procedures are clearly explained, whether forensic or police procedures. We feel here a keen eye for detail and the desire / need for accuracy of the author. This will delight fans of the genre who will find a wealth of information

The characters are very realistic, it really feels like we're in in the 36 quai des orfèvres and a part of the team, which is always nice when you read a book. As we stay with the team all steps through the investigation, it easy to feel a sense of belonging with those officers. A small problem in my case, the sudden and a bit too fiery love story with the boss of the Crim'. It seems to me that a guy who managed to climb all levels and is found at that young age (38 years old) chief of this famous police division has a little more lead in the head or at least better control of his emotions and will not smooch the woman of his heart at the office... 

I have also a little less liked the fact that from the first murder, the criminal psychologist of the group defines the murderer as a serial killer who has a big problem with his mother. He resent women, surely, seeing what he does them but why not his former teacher, ex wife, neighbor-who-frustrates-him, etc.. This is somewhat simple or cliche like in movies and series dedicated to the genre. Sure, for those who read thrillers from time to time, it is very well done. For those who read thrillers regularly, it might feel like déjà vu.

And a good point for the author who portrays the cops as sensitive persons who care for the others, which is not always like that. Sirsky is particularly kind for the other, always making sure everyone is ok but he's the hero so it's for the better, but the other cops too are. Often, cops are seen like tough or cold people, not here. I find that refreshing and maybe more realist, right?

In a nutshell 

A good first novel for this author, a promising start to the series, a quick and captivating read, this is a 3.5 / 5 for me.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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