The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths by Olivier Barde-Cabucon

Format: Paperback

Published by: Pushkin Press

When a young girls body is found with the skin on her face having been removed, Inspector Volnay is called upon to investigate along with his faithful assistant the Monk

The story is set in 18th Century Paris around the court of King Louis XV, and the Palace of Versailles, however who can you trust, spies on every side abound and Volnay must risk all and put his life in danger if he is to uncover the truth.

This is a book rich in intrigue and has a wonderful feel and depth to both the plot and the storyline. Be immersed into the sights and sounds, The book is not fast paced but was life then, it is though descriptive of the times and there are some wonderful passages, the author clearly knows how to build and set a scene.

There is a lot to take in which to be honest at times can be difficult to keep up with, there are plenty of sub plots where intrigue and deceit come to the fore.

Clearly there was a wealth of research undertaken and the authors brings all this to bear on the pages. The introduction of Casanova as a central character was an interesting point but this for me added a different dynamic to the story.

Deeply rich at times macabre, political machinations and secret societies abound. The whole feel of the book including the characters is deep and vivid and on the whole brought beautifully to life on the page.

One important element of foreign language books which it is easy to overlook is the translator and Louise Rogers Lalaurie is to be applauded

I am not sure this book will appeal to all, and I did fine it to be a slow burner, however,the author manages to draw the reader in. I for one cannot wait to read of the further exploits of Volnay

5*

Categories 2020 Reviews

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