The Cemetery of Swallows

Mallock, trans. from the French by Steven Rendall. Europa/World Noir (Penguin, dist.), $17 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-60945-186-8
French author Mallock (the pseudonym of Jean-Denis Bruet-Ferreol) makes his U.S. debut with a provocative novel that explores such disparate topics as international criminal law, black magic, and personal loyalty. Supt. Amedee Mallock, of the Parisian police force, travels to the Dominican Republic, in order to extradite a French national, Manuel Gemoni, who recently shot dead elderly Tobias Darbier in a square outside a Dominican cigar factory. Mallock learns that Darbier was "the most hated man on the island," a tyrant who had survived more than 30 assassination attempts in the past seven years. Since Manuel happens to be the brother of Paris police captain Julie Gemoni, who reports to Mallock, the superintendent must be careful to not only do his civic duty but also uncover any clues or mitigating circumstances that "would keep Manuel from being given the maximum sentence." Readers will enjoy the rich colonial history and cross-cultural commentary as the motive for Manuel's execution of Darbier gradually emerges. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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