Sandman

J. Robert Janes, Author Soho Press $22 (272p) ISBN 978-1-56947-106-7
The harsh, brutal winter world of Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943 is the setting for this grim procedural featuring Hermann Kohler of the Gestapo and Louis St-Cyr, a chief inspector of the Surete. The German and the Frenchman form an unusual personal and professional partnership to fight ""common"" crime in a country where atrocities abound. A serial killer dubbed the ""Sandman"" has raped and killed four young girls. The fifth appears to be 11-year-old Nenette Vernet, orphaned heiress to an industrialist's fortune. But the body turns out to be that of her friend, and Nenette and her governess/companion are both missing. In an atmosphere reeking of menace and desperation, Kohler and St-Cyr search for the missing girls, for the Sandman and for the truth as they sift through tawdry affairs, back-street abortionists and whorehouses where even the used condoms are prized. The catalogue of suspects is nearly endless: a wounded SS officer who paints pictures of young girls; a pathetic nun and her sinful sister; a discredited priest; a clairvoyant and her loutish son. The humanity of Kohler and St.-Cyr, and their devotion to their task, transcends both the grimness of the crimes and the decadence of those thriving during the occupation. Harsh but addictive, this second in a series (which began with Stonekiller; reviewed in Forecasts, Feb. 24) is an acquired taste that lingers long after the last page is read. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997
Release date: 11/01/1997
Ebook - 266 pages - 978-1-4532-5188-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-1808-1
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