Le French Book (23 septembre 2014)
224 pages - 17,95 $
Crossing the Line is the sequel of the book The 7th Women. We meet back (and with pleasure) Chief of Police Nico Sirsky and his family, although less present in this novel. I feel lucky as I have the chance to receive the books from Le French Book. Their principle of editing is simple: if they love a book they translate and print it. Surprising as it may seem, it's thanks to them - and in English - that I discovered the best-known or the newest authors of France!
It’s Christmas in Paris. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky returns to work after recovering from a gunshot wound. He’s in love and rearing to go. His first day back has him overseeing a jewel heist sting and taking on an odd investigation. Dental students discovered a message in the tooth of a severed head. Is it a sick joke? Sirsky and his team of crack homicide detectives follow the clues from an apparent suicide, to an apparent accident, to an all-out murder as an intricate machination starts breaking down. Just how far can despair push a man? How clear is the line between good and evil? More suspense and mystery with the Paris Homicide team from the prizewinning author Frédérique Molay, the "French Michael Connelly." This is the second in the prize-winning Paris Homicide series.
Why read this book
Firstly, I have to say that I preferred this book that I find better than the first one. And how is it better you may ask? I thought it was better mastered. The plot that I found a little too easy in The 7th Woman, is more complicated here. The story is more original. Admittedly, the message "I was murdered" in the tooth of a severed head is pretty original, thank you!
I also appreciated that the mystery of Sirsky's ex-wife disappearance is elucidated. She disappeared at the end of The 7th Woman and I was wondering what happened to her (even though her character quickly becomes secondary and that her disappearance allows Nico to delve into his relationship with Caroline). This speaks for the attention to detail of the author that I really appreciate.
Let's talk details, Crossing the Line is full of it and it's Frédérique Molay's strength who knows how to provide us with a maximum of details without weighting down the story. We follow and understand the investigation and the different procedures either if they relate to autopsies or to the relationship between the different branches of justice. This attention to detail allows me to understand the French system, much more complex than I thought. For those who have seen the excellent series Engrenages (or Spiral in Canada), we can find the same atmosphere, the same conviviality, the same quality of detail. I also enjoyed getting to know the landscape of Paris and the (open) secret passages in the buildings.
The team is as friendly as before, the characters always as well written and vivid. We follow their evolution, as if we were part of the team. One is a new dad, the other seeks his Christmas presents. It's nice, as when we have some news about friends we haven't seen for some time. Nico's family is less present (even if we meet them back over a nice dinner) and the story focuses more on Nico's son and his girlfriend Caroline but do not mind, it's the next step, after the presentation of the characters in the first book.
In a nutshell
A story that reads very quickly, a quality of detail that gives us the impression of being in the heart of the investigation, a staff as friendly as before whom we enjoy to spend some time with, it's a 4/5 for me.