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Friday 4 January 2019

‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ by Adrian Magson

Published by The Dome Press,
19 October 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-9957-5101-9 (PB)

Rocco is a tough cop in Amiens, Picardie, France in 1964.   He is called to the discovery by a local farmer of a man’s body in a ditch on a very secluded road.  Apparently, the man has been stabbed in the side of the neck.   

Rocco, as a long-time city cop had resented being sent to this backwater as part of a scheme to expand crime prevention techniques set up by the Ministry of the Interior.  He thought there would be nothing to do but has found that under the bucolic innocence was as much violence and criminality as in the city.  He has established himself, made several friends in the service and is happy to escort his elderly neighbour to a hospital appointment.

Rocco is asked to provide security for a visitor from Africa who insists on living in an unsuitable house.  At the same time Rocco is informed of a threat to his own life being made by a French criminal gang leader.  In connection with this threat Rocco investigates the fates of several other cops who had been targeted while aware that he, himself, is probably being stalked by the hitman.

The development of events around the African politician, the investigation of the murder on a country road and the attempt to find the potential assassin keep Rocco very busy.  He is a resourceful and effective operator in these muddy waters.

This is a well told tale with interesting characters, particularly the eponymous detective and an unusual setting.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This is the sixth in a series which began with Death on the Marais.  Adrian writes several other series.
Adrian Magson is a freelance writer and reviewer, the author of 22 crime and spy thrillers, a writer's help book, a YA ghost novel and 2 collections of short fiction.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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