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Thursday 13 September 2018

‘Stick Together’ by Sophie Henaff

Published by Maclehose Press,
26 July 2018.
ISBN: 978-0-85705580-4

The so called “Awkward Squad” headed by Commissaire Anne Capestan and made up of misfits within the police are not popular with the rest of the police force in Paris. A month earlier they had arrested a fellow officer and now are called traitors.

Capestan is concerned when she is called to the murder scene of a Commissaire Serge Rufus, another fellow officer and brutish father of Capestan's estranged husband. She visits Paul to tell him of his father's death, he is not very keen on her heading the investigation as she really did not like Serge.

When Capestan tells the rest of the team that they are to investigate the killing, they are not happy to learn that they must share their findings with other departments of the force. They are sure fellow police officers will take every opportunity to discredit them.

To add to the puzzle, a road sign had been removed and replaced with another with the name of the victim, his dates of birth and death and reading “Bastard Commissaire”. He also had been beaten rather badly. Capestan then learns of another murder, with the same modus operandi as Rufus, but his dates of birth and death were written on a war memorial. Could they be gangland killings? Someone trying to extract information? If so what?

More killings follow, and the team know there must be a connection between all the victims but what? They then discover that an event in1992 involved all the victims in some way or another but why were they ALL killed? Capestan even finds evidence that one of her team may be involved and is in a dilemma as to what action to take. Should she tell the rest of them or should she approach the person about it in private?

Can the squad find the perpetrator or perpetrators of the deaths before the rest of the police and before they are further discredited?  With the help of newly trained “Ratafia” their police rat and “Pilote” their enthusiastic police dog they certainly are well equipped to do so!

Another great story from Sophie Henaff, having read her Awkward Squad I was glad to find this book was just as entertaining. I love her misfit characters, all bringing their own expertise to the investigation. It also has many amusing moments, especially concerning the supposed thoughts and actions of Ratafia and Pilote.

Although sometimes amusing the book does remain a murder investigation story and has its share of twists and turns before a rather surprising ending.

High recommended for fans of a “light hearted” but enthusiastic murder story with a really good plot.
Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell

Sophie Hénaff is a journalist, author and former Lyonnaise bar owner. She began her journalism career as a critic at Lyon Poche, before moving to Paris to write for Cosmopolitan, where she established her own humorous column, "La Cosmolite". The Awkward Squad was first published as Poulets grillés in 2015, and is her first novel.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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