Archive for October 3, 2006


Posted: October 3, 2006 in Uncategorized

From Le Monde:

Chantal Pelletier is a wonderful storyteller; she captures your heart in three short sentences……A classic roman noir hero, the world weary inspector, is completely reinvented.

This novel won the Grand Prix du Roman Noir De Cognac in 2001 and I did enjoy it, as it full of interesting characters.

Maurice Laice “more is less” is a detective so depressed by his past and his bleak existence that it is a wonder he does not voluntarily join the long list of dead bodies in the book. Maurice is about as far from Guido Brunetti as you can get, and makes Montalbano, Morse, Rebus and Banks seem happy positive extrovert successes in comparison.

His lesbian boss Aline Lefevre delights in humiliating and teasing him with her sexual exploits. Her “someone special” is described as a red headed Catherine Deneuve, while poor Maurice has an empty love life, and lives in a bachelor’s squalor. No wonder he is depressed.

The French do have a different attitude to sex than Americans, or the British, and I am very broadminded, but this book went too far in my opinion in its sexual content. I lived in London’s Chelsea for many years, so I am not easily shocked, but describing sex with animals does go beyond my boundaries.

This was a pity because apart from this and a general preoccupation with sex, explained by the fact it is set in France, the story which ranged from Montmatre to Corsica, and involved drugs and real estate scams, was quite good.

Maurice Laice and Aline Lefevre are something different in the world of crime fiction, but I would be wary of reading any of Chantal Pelletier’s books if you are in any way squeamish.