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Tuesday 6 January 2015

‘The Dark Angel’ by Dominique Sylvain

Published by Maclehose Press,
19 December 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-85705-213-1
Jean-Paul, Noah and Farid have just stolen 1,500,000 euros from a Paris bureau de change.  Farid insists on giving his share to his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa ... and the next day her two flatmates find her murdered and mutilated.  The main suspect is her restauranteur employer, Maxime, a charmer with tragedy in his past.  Luckily he has a good friend, Ingrid, who calls in ex-cop Lola to help her investigate ...

This is the first of a series, which let me meet this unlikely and intrepid duo properly: Parisian policewoman Lola, rude, determined, and definitely retired, and American Ingrid, masseuse by day, and with a surprise night-time occupation.  Both were larger-than-life characters, and I enjoyed the building relationship and snappy dialogue between them, as Ingrid prised Lola away from her jigsaw of the Sistine Chapel and back into police work.  I loved the Parisian setting – Paris is my favourite city, and Sylvain brought it to life vividly: sights, sounds, smells.  The prose flowed from one person’s view to another, and the story moved swiftly, with plenty of twists.

A new, zany detective team, in an elegantly-written story that goes for atmosphere rather than gore.  Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Dominique Sylvain was born in 1957. Se worked as a journalist in Paris before relocating to Asia where she lived for spells in Japan and Singapore. She is the author of thirteen crime novels and now lives once more in Paris where she writes full-time.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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