Mannequin

J. Robert Janes, Author Soho Press $22 (240p) ISBN 978-1-56947-129-6
Janes, a Canadian author, pens the remarkable 1940s series featuring Jean-Louis St.-Cyr of the Parisian Surete and Hermann Kohler, reluctantly of the Gestapo, whose joint efforts in occupied Paris during WWII have been chronicled in the admirable tales, Stonekiller, Sandman and Salamander. Equally compelling is the latest outing for this unlikely pair of criminal investigators, who continually grouse at each other but respect their mutual professionalism. Joanne Labelle, a pretty young neighbor of St-Cyr's, answered a newspaper ad for a model, or mannequin, and then disappeared. Four days later, coinciding with a robbery at a nearby bank, the two investigators find photos of Joanne and many other young women, naked and fearful, in a house near the Palais Royal. Bodies of the other girls are found, mutilated and brutally slain. St. Cyr and Kohler begin a particularly grim search that leads through the Parisian underworld into the twilight zone of wealthy and fashionable collaborators with the Nazis and, ultimately, to an art auction at which the star guest is Hermann Goring himself. As the two cases converge, Janes offers, in hundreds of authentic details, a searing picture of the misery, frequent opportunism and shifty uncertainties of the German occupation and, in his two protagonists, a believable bonding of improbable allies. The wind-up is genuinely spine-crawling. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-56947-176-0
Ebook - 262 pages - 978-1-4532-5194-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-1328-4
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