Monday 15 March 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Night Gate (The Enzo Files Book 7) - Peter May

In a sleepy French village, the body of a man shot through the head is disinterred by the roots of a fallen tree. A week later a famous art critic is viciously murdered in a nearby house. The deaths occurred more than seventy years apart.

Asked by a colleague to inspect the site of the former, forensics expert Enzo Macleod quickly finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the latter. Two extraordinary narratives are set in train - one historical, unfolding in the treacherous wartime years of Occupied France; the other contemporary, set in the autumn of 2020 as France re-enters Covid lockdown.

And Enzo's investigations reveal an unexpected link between the murders - the Mona Lisa.

Tasked by the exiled General Charles de Gaulle to keep the world's most famous painting out of Nazi hands after the fall of France in 1940, 28-year-old Georgette Pignal finds herself swept along by the tide of history. Following in the wake of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa as it is moved from château to château by the Louvre, she finds herself just one step ahead of two German art experts sent to steal it for rival patrons - Hitler and Göring.

What none of them know is that the Louvre itself has taken exceptional measures to keep the painting safe, unwittingly setting in train a fatal sequence of events extending over seven decades.

Events that have led to both killings.

The Night Gate spans three generations, taking us from war-torn London, the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, Berlin and Vichy France, to the deadly enemy facing the world in 2020. In his latest novel, Peter May shows why he is one of the great contemporary writers of crime fiction.

What did I think?

Peter May is my Dad's favourite author but to my shame, The Night Gate is the first of his books that I've read.  I actually didn't realise it was part of The Enzo Files series until I started reading but it reads so well as a standalone that you don't need to have read the earlier books to enjoy it.  I didn't just enjoy it, I LOVED IT!!!

With a dual storyline that kept me riveted from beginning to end, I can see why Peter May is a bestselling author.  His research is meticulous, giving his writing such authenticity in its detail which makes the story come alive.  I loved both storylines; the mystery and danger of hiding works of art during Nazi occupied France in 1940 and the present day murder of an art dealer coupled with the discovery of a wartime corpse during the Covid pandemic of 2020.  

Although this is the first time I have encountered Enzo Macleod, I really felt as if I knew him as Peter May includes useful snippets of Enzo's history for anyone new to the series.  Enzo's colourful past has certainly made me want to read the earlier books as soon as possible.  I love the way that Enzo's brain works, he really doesn't miss a trick although he sometimes forgets that his body isn't quite as able as it used to be.  Investigating a murder during a pandemic certainly has its challenges.

I don't have any interest in art whatsoever, so for Peter May to draw me into the story and keep me interested just shows what an amazing writer he is.  Adding an air of mystery to the Mona Lisa had me intrigued and I didn't realise that she had been on quite a journey during the war.  It's quite moving to think that brave people put themselves in danger by hiding her and other works of art.

Intriguing, mysterious and so moving that it gave me goosebumps, The Night Gate is an exceptional novel that is destined to top the charts for quite some time.  Make sure you grab a copy as it's not to be missed.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; all opinions are my own.

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About the author:

Peter May was born and raised in Scotland. He was an award-winning journalist at the age of twenty-one and a published novelist at twenty-six. When his first book was adapted as a major drama series for the BCC, he quit journalism and during the high-octane fifteen years that followed, became one of Scotland’s most successful television dramatists. He created three prime-time drama series, presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland as script editor and producer, and worked on more than 1,000 episodes of ratings-topping drama before deciding to leave television to return to his first love, writing novels. He has won several literature awards in France, received the USA’s Barry Award for The Blackhouse, the first in his internationally bestselling Lewis Trilogy; and in 2014 was awarded the ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year award for Entry Island. Peter now lives in South-West France with his wife, writer Janice Hally.

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