Saturday, September 5, 2015

Alex by Pierre Lemaitre

Alex is not a book to quote from, not a book to analyze, not a book to summarize. It's a book that some people will love and a lot of people will really dislike. I first heard about it two years ago from the podcast Books on the Nightstand, and the description of it was enough to keep it on my mind for the two years it took me to track it down. 

It starts like a horribly boring cliche. Pretty girl kidnapped, stripped down, shoved into a crate by a man. Detective who doesn't want to take the case since his own wife was kidnapped and murdered. His old team gets back together - can he save her? If he does will he forgive himself for not saving his wife? It's almost laughable...until the plot takes some turns that are really not funny. The novel is clever, exciting, and surprising - which is really difficult to do in this genre.

It has a lot of graphic violence, some of it sexual in nature. For readers who enjoy books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I would absolutely recommend it. Be aware that there is a note in the back explaining the French legal/police system and a glossary of French terms. I didn't realize this until the end which made for some confusion. Lemaitre has continued to write novels about the detective and he has the same translator working on them. Irene is already out and next on my list - hopefully Sacrifices will come out in English soon. 

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