Monday, 9 May 2016

A Song for Drowned Souls (Commandant Servaz Book 2) - Bernard Minier


They find the boy by the swimming pool, dolls floating on its surface.

Inside the house, his teacher lies dead.

But he claims to remember nothing...

Marsac is a quiet town in the Pyrenees, best known for its elite university. But when one of its professors is murdered, it becomes clear that the tranquil surface is a lie.

The chief suspect is the son of Commandant Servaz's university sweetheart; and when she implores him to investigate, he cannot refuse.

To close the case, Servaz must delve into his own past and re-open old and terrible wounds. It will be his most dangerous - and his most personal - investigation yet.


What did I think?

This books starts off well and I had high hopes that it would give Nordic Noir a run for its money.  Sadly, I didn't find it to be as much of a page turner as I first expected and Nordic Noir remains unchallenged.

The beginning is really good as the body of a teacher is found in her house with dolls floating in her swimming pool and one of her students sitting by the pool.  The student, Hugo, is the son of Commandant Martin Servaz's old girlfriend, Marianne.  Marianne is sure that Hugo is innocent and asks Servaz to find out who killed the teacher so that Hugo can be released.  You get the feeling that Marianne is the one who got away for him and their reunion fizzes with sexual tension.

There feels like there's something bubbling under the surface of this book and now and again the surface became scratched and we were given a blurry glimpse of half a jigsaw piece. For me, it just took too long to get there; by the time I held all the jigsaw pieces in my hand it I didn't really have the energy, or the inclination, to complete the puzzle.

Being a football fan myself, I enjoyed the timeline of the book; set over a week during the 2010 World Cup.  Many people will remember the controversy surrounding the French team as the relationship between players and manager broke down on such a huge public stage.  It completely refreshed my memory about the event as everyone in the book seems to be talking about Nicolas Anelka.

All in all, not a bad read but not a great one.  The beginning and end had a good pace but I got a little bored in the middle.  As the pace started to increase at the end, I had unfortunately lost too much interest.  That's not to say that others won't enjoy the book; the world would be a boring place if we all had the same opinion.  I think perhaps I might have enjoyed this more if I had read The Frozen Dead, the first book in the series, and maybe some day I will read it and revise my opinion of A Song for Drowned Souls.  Until that day, it remains at just 3 stars from me.

I received this book from the publisher, Mulholland, via Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:




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