Alex

Pierre Lemaitre

Winner of the CWA International Dagger Award 2013.

 

In kidnapping cases, the first few hours are crucial. After that, the chances of being found alive go from slim to nearly none. Alex Prévost - beautiful, resourceful, tough - may be no ordinary victim, but her time is running out.

 

Commandant Camille Verhœven and his detectives have nothing to go on: no suspect, no lead, rapidly diminishing hope. All they know is that a girl was snatched off the streets of Paris and bundled into a white van.

 

The enigma that is the fate of Alex will keep Verhœven guessing until the bitter, bitter end. And before long, saving her life will be the least of his worries.

ALEX came on to my reading list as a result of winning the CWA International Dagger award, but also because of some excellent reviews that I have read.

 

Many reviewers have commented on the difficulty of writing a review that does not reveal too much about the novel. That is certainly indicative of the complexity of the novel's structure which is a brachial one. The resolution of the first part of the story, the kidnapping of Alex Prevost, leads seamlessly into the second which is why she was kidnapped, and then comes the story behind that.

 

But that is not all there is to this novel: Commandant Camille Verhoeven is returning to this kind of investigation a considerable time after his pregnant wife was kidnapped and died as a result. So in a sense Verhoeven is facing his demons, and not even he is sure he should be taking on this case. While following this theme we explore the relationships between the members of his investigative team.

 

I think what makes this a great read is that it explores psychological issues and in the end questions whether justice has been done.

 

Review by Kerrie Smith, MYSTERIES IN PARADISE

About Pierre Lemaitre:

Pierre Lemaitre is a French novelist and screenwriter, born in Paris in 1956.