Dolls float on the surface of a swimming pool. A young man dangles his legs in the water, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings. In the house adjoining the pool, a woman lies drowned in a large, old-fashioned bathtub, her body tightly bound by rope and a small flashlight rammed down her throat. French author Minier’s second psychological whodunit featuring Commandant Martin Servaz (after 2014’s The Frozen Dead) shows his mastery of the creepy setup. Servaz, who has been following the 2010 World Cup with his Toulouse crime squad team, is alerted to the bizarre poolside scene by an old love, Marianne Bokhanowsky. Marianne’s 17-year-old son, Hugo, is the prime suspect in the slaying of Claire Diemar, a teacher of Hugo’s with a doll obsession, and she implores Servaz for help in proving his innocence. Meanwhile, another figure from Servaz’s past resurfaces, Julian Hirtmann. The Hannibal Lecter–like genius serial killer, who shares Servaz’s taste for Mahler and remains at large, sends the detective taunting messages. The Russian nesting doll of a plot is perfectly executed and delivers two genuine gut punches at the end. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/24/2015 Release date: 10/27/2015 Genre: Fiction
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