Morfoot launches a new series by mixing international terrorism with threats much closer to home—and the home is Nice.
Among the dozens of Muslims who’ve joined Hamid Toulé’s outdoor prayer group on Rue Verbier, one of them, a man in a white suit, isn’t praying; he isn’t even alive. It doesn’t matter that no one but elderly Corinne Delage, who bumped into him with her trolley, approached him in the moments before his death, because Emil Florian, a literature teacher at the Lycée Mossette, was injected with a lethal dose of poison a good half-hour earlier. Things rapidly get more complicated for Capt. Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle de Nice. The dead man, who was carrying a bottle of drug-laced water, was apparently a pedophile. Meanwhile, the city’s preparations for the Tour de France, whose cyclists are scheduled to ride through town on their second day, are threatened by a group calling itself the Sons and Daughters of the Just Cause. Not content to send menacing messages, the Sons and Daughters kidnap retiring Commissaire Agnès Dantier and her father, retired Commissaire Vincent Dantier. Suspecting that the motive behind all this mayhem may be more personal than political, Darac looks more closely into Vincent Dantier’s past and soon finds secrets so doomy that they almost make him forget the abrupt departure of his lover, Angeline, who maintains that his only strategies for addressing problems are playing his guitar, making love, and punching someone. As subsequent developments show, she has a point.
A sprawling, ambitious series debut especially noteworthy for its attention to minor characters, its mix of byways and felonies, and its determination to throw every crime in the book at the Brigade Criminelle—except, presumably, the ones reserved for the sequels.