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Monday, 17 May 2021

‘The Lost and the Damned’ by Olivier Norek

Published by Maclehose Press,
12 November 2020.
ISBN: 978-0-85705-962-8 (HB)
Translated from the French by Nick Caistor

A bourgeois family who refuse to identify their dead drug-addict daughter ... a black giant who’s been castrated ... life isn’t “nice” for the cops of Département 93, Seine-St-Denis in the north of Paris, and it’s about to get worse.

This French police procedural is written by a former police officer, and takes the reader right into the heart of life in the worst area of Paris. Much of the story’s told from the third-person viewpoint of Capitaine Coste and his team: would-be-Romeo Ronan, tech wizard Sam and (replacing his long-term partner, who’s been transferred to the leafy suburbs), his new recruit, Johanna De Ritter. The banter between them all gives a great feel of the ‘cop shop’ and Capitaine Coste is a good character in the ‘cop with a past’ mode. The seedy Paris atmosphere is great, and the short chapters and unexpected turns whiz the story along. The book takes an unexpected twist in the final third, and the ending is unexpectedly moving.

An absorbing and authentic French PP with clever plotting, good characters and vivid atmosphere.

Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Olivier Norek served as a humanitarian aid worker in the former Yugoslavia, before embarking on a eighteen-year career in the French police, rising to the rank of capitaine in the Seine-Saint-Denis Police Judiciare. He has written six crime novels, which have sold a million copies in France and won a dozen literary prizes.

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.

 Click on the title to read a review of her recent book
Death From a Sheland Cliff

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