The Man with the Lead Stomach

Jean-François Parot, trans. from the French by Michael Glencross. Gallic (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (338p) ISBN 978-1-906040-12-3
In Parot’s suspenseful second whodunit featuring Nicholas Le Floch (after 2007’s The Châtelet Apprentice), Le Floch, now a commissioner of the Paris police, looks into the apparent suicide of the Vicomte Lionel de Ruissec, a lieutenant in the French Guards, in the fall of 1761. De Ruissec appears to have shot himself in his locked bedroom, as suggested by a note he left behind seeking forgiveness. Le Floch suspects foul play, but the victim’s father, a former brigadier general, stymies the investigator’s efforts to pursue the case, which points to skullduggery at the court of Louis XV. Amid political tensions surrounding the monarchy and very real threats to France from foreign enemies, Le Floch knows that one false step could imperil his future. This intelligent page-turner doesn’t sacrifice detail for plot or vice-versa. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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