Copyright: August 2012 (Minotaur Books) 320 pgs
Series: 4th in Louis Morgon Thriller
Sensuality: Rape scene, some violence
Mystery Sub-genre: Suspense, Thriller
Main Characters: Louis Morgon, ex-CIA espionage agent
Setting: Modern day, Saint-Leon-sur-Dême France
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Louis Morgon lost his job and his family. He ends up walking the French countryside to sort through the pain. He eventually settles in the small town of Saint-Leon-sur-Dême. He buys a small cottage and during renovations, finds old French Resistance flyers hidden away which present a murder mystery. For the majority of the book, the reader is in the 1940s town of Saint-Leon-sur-Dême with a young man named Onesime who maps the Nazi occupation and their activities.
The story follows the town over four years as the resistance makes inroads amongst the villagers. The burning question was who had setup several resistance members to be murdered. After the bulk of the book spent in the 1940s, you are back with Louis Morgan as he pieces together what happened and starts on the trail of the person who had betrayed neighbors.
Onesime, his brother Jean, and his mother, along with rest of the villagers, envelope the reader in a rural french town struggling under the Nazi occupation. There are no black and white issues or people in this tale, everything is shades of gray.
The town of Saint-Leon-sur-Dême is an integral part of the story. The network of caves that are owned by villagers to store wine barrels and food is taken over by the Nazi's and used to store arms and ammunition. The caves are a great atmospheric touch and realistic. The sense of fear permeates the town and characters.
The plot is an intricate cat and mouse dance of resistance members who can't even trust family, nor the local police. It is a walk in a mine field where even a slight misstep results in death - or worse.
The reveal of the informant who had resistance members killed is somewhat anti-climatic, but it was realistic. The writing was superb, with bold characterization, vivid setting, and detailed plot. This is a fantastic suspenseful story that leaves the reader on the edge of the seat, anxious to find out what happens next.
Rating: Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.