Published by Death Watch Books,
11 June 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-07217792-0 (PB)
Delphine Rougier is a twenty-year-old chambermaid working at the obsessed with ‘le nouveau DETECTIVE’ magazine but can only
Downfall is a spine-tingling thriller in which two parallel narratives are skilfully woven together as they move relentlessly towards a tense and unpredictable dénouement. The action takes place mainly in and around the Pays de la Loire region of France. The fabulous setting with its medieval and early modern buildings, famous vineyards and the rural countryside of Sarthe may sound divine, but this is a Sally Spedding novel, so expect surprises! Evil lurks amidst historic , and the magnificent Loire landscape frequently proves at best inhospitable and sometimes deadly. The novel is rooted in past acts of brutality and betrayal including World War II, which still looms large in the memories of some of the older characters. The central plot relates horrors from more recent times; depraved atrocities that started thirty years earlier reach into the present and continue to claim new victims. Characters are vividly portrayed and are often flawed, compromised and unreliable which adds to the intrigue of the narrative. No one can be trusted, with the exception of Delphine. The protagonist’s transformation from discontented chambermaid to courageous sleuth whose strong moral compass compels her to seek for truth and bring criminals to justice, is fascinating as well as entertaining. If you like your detection dark and moody you will love Downfall – I did!
This is the first book in which Delphine Rougier appears, the excellent news is that a second book in the series has just been published. Details of other Sally Spedding novels can be found on her deliciously spooky website.
Reviewer: Dorothy Marshall-Gent