Just as a French police inspector learns of his wife’s adultery, a crime spree hits his turf.
When he gets confirmation that his wife, Claire, has been cheating on him, Inspector Gilles Sebag feels “like a rip in his belly.” Crime, however, provides a rude awakening to his melancholy self-reflection, even in the sleepy Mediterranean town of Perpignan. First comes the murder of Christine Abad by one of the two men entangled in her love triangle—either Éric, the lover she met in a yoga class, or her husband, Stéphane. Claire’s tearful explanation of her adultery makes it hard for Gilles to break away. Stomach troubles plague him as his investigation proceeds. His partner, Molina, worries about him, and no wonder, for the parallels between the murder case and his own situation are all too clear. As Christmas nears, Gilles cannot decide whether to leave Claire or stay. But his distress has made him both more reckless and more daring. Gilles engages in a high-speed chase to nab a suspect, whom he ultimately tackles. As his emotional tug of war continues, so does the criminal mischief. An anonymous arsonist is ramping up his antics, and the investigation of Christine’s murder takes some interesting twists.
The third installment from Georget (Autumn, All the Cats Return, 2014, etc.) dives deeper into character than most traditional detective yarns and is written with wit, poignancy, and panache. Some readers, though, might want less of the investigator and more of the investigation.