Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MANNEQUIN by J. Robert Janes

MANNEQUIN

By J. Robert Janes

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1-56947-129-0
Publisher: Soho

The same day (Christmas Eve, 1942) robbers steal 18 million francs from the main Paris branch of the CrÇdit Lyonnais and kill a teller before making their escape, an even more horrific crime is being committed around the corner from the bank: Joanne Labelle, answering an ad for models of a suspiciously specific physical type, is lured into an abandoned house and vanishes, along with all the house’s furnishings—except for an explicit series of photographs suggesting that Joanne is only the latest in a series of 14 victims. The Gestapo is understandably more interested in the money than the girl, but Chief Inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr and his partner Hermann Kohler (Salamander, p. 618, etc.), convinced that the two crimes are connected, persist in putting tactless questions to the well-connected family of banker AndrÇ-Philippe de Brisson and the even-better-connected dress-shop owner Denise St. Onge. Soon they’re walking a tightrope between the wrath of the Gestapo and the suspicions of the Resistance, till eventually they come to the attention of Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, who has no intention of letting them disrupt an auction of looted artworks in which he has a special interest. First published in Britain in 1994, this case plunges the unlikely heroes into a world of sordid intrigue as quickly as any of their other eight. This time, though, the catalogue of perversions may be a little too conscientious for all but the most battle-hardened readers.