French author Minier once again displays a rare gift for raising goose bumps in his intricate third thriller featuring Commandant Martin Servaz (after 2015’s The Circle). The Toulouse cop is on leave, undergoing treatment for depression, six months after the sadistic killer he was hunting sent him the heart of a woman Martin was involved with. He gets back on the job after receiving another package, which contains an electronic hotel key and an unsigned invitation to a meeting in the room it opens. When Martin visits the Grand Hôtel Thomas Wilson, he learns that room 117 was the scene of an artist’s bloody suicide a year earlier. Meanwhile, radio show host Christine Steinmeyer receives an unsigned note from someone threatening to take her life on Christmas Eve. Unsuccessful in her efforts to identify the disturbing letter’s author, she soon finds herself the victim of a sadistic plot to drive her mad. Minier sustains a high degree of tension throughout, while making his characters’ reactions to extreme stress plausible. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2016 Release date: 12/06/2016 Genre: Fiction
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