Thursday, 12 March 2015

La conjuration primitive by Maxime Chattam

Pocket - 12 janvier 2015
537 pages - 15,95 $

Maxime... my favorite French author... the first who caused me to spend my first sleepless night reading (the trilogy of evil is the antithesis of sleeping pills!) And here he do it again, with La conjuration primitive.

Is it that good?

Oh yes! Because as usual, he managed to create super cool characters, lovable, intelligent and different. This time we follow French police officers (he often set his book in USA with private detective ou FBI agent or journalist), divided into several teams because of the scope of the investigation. Especially we follow a team led by Alexis, a fan of the New York Giants. He is intelligent, able to feel things and managed to get on board a famous profiler, Richard Mikelis, who had vowed not to take this kind of investigation anymore. He is accompanied by Ludivine and Segnon which become more present as story unfold. Oddly, the specialist, although important and really committed, is not the most prominent character in the story. It's really a team effort, but with a little extra complicity between Alexis and Ludivine. It seems that Chattam like to put couple in his stories, because it often results in a couple (whether official or not) investigating.

Because as usual, he managed to create a completely insane story, with really really twisted villains with particularly Machiavellian ideas. WATCH OUT! Sensitive hearts should refrain: the descriptions of the scenes are not always easy to read. But for well hung hearts, you will not be disappointed! Chattam is excellent in the twists and this time, he outdid himsef... big time! I was dumbstruck at half the book, then I loooved the nod towards the end of the book (and there, it's better if you read his other books) (but it will not hurt anything if you have not read them... you'll just miss the nod) (but it's still a pity...) One thing is certain, his stories are always different from what you can read and they always question about evil. Is it contagious? Hmm... you'll have to read the book to know the answer!

And what's more, we travel with The conjuration primitive (in addition to France): in Poland, where we visit the St. Kinga chapel that is located in the town of Wieliczka. I did not know that this place existed and despite the circumstances of the book, it really makes me want to visit it (a chapel more than 100 metre below the earth and made of salt!!) Maxime Chattam always does research before writing so as to be as realistic as possible, and he succeeds. I know from having read on Twitter that he even scoured the parking of heavy trucks in Poland to soak up the atmosphere (he had posted pictures of the place) and better transcribe it in this book. We also travel in Quebec, in a city with a ficticious name (too many horrors happen there to place the action in a specific city) (because honestly no city would have liked to be used in this part of book), (but people of Quebec will probably recognize the city of Fairmont (and its windscreen building long of 1.3 km).

But what's the story?
And if only  evil could fight evil?

Investigators call them The Beast and The Phantom... If the murders they commit are not alike, their savagery is incomparable. And what about that mysterious common signature - *e - which negates the isolated track of serial killers? Did he killers know each other?
But soon, The Beast and The Phantom are no longer alone. Atrocious crimes multiply, first in France and then across the whole Europe.
Predation in the rough. Competition in the horror...
In order to combat this epidemic, and try to understand: a brigade not quite like the others, backed by a famous profiler.

In a nutshell

Endearing characters, a very well done plot, a cold and dark atmosphere and incredible twists, it's a 5/5 for me! So just go ask English editors to translate it!

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