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ALEX by Pierre Lemaitre Kirkus Star


by Pierre Lemaitre ; translated by Frank Wynne

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62365-000-1
Publisher: Quercus

In this unpredictable, oddly delectable French thriller, an attractive young Parisian woman is abducted, chained in a crate and brutalized by an avenger—a crime that doesn't begin to hint at the gruesome killings to follow.

The spoiler alert applies big-time to this book, the fourth of Lemaitre's novels featuring Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven and the first to be translated into English. The surprises, early and late, reboot the unusual narrative and redefine the case at hand. The quick-tempered, Danny DeVito–short Camille is already feeling a bit shaky, having just returned to the force after four years. He suffered a breakdown following his wife Irene's murder—a crime for which his smooth, elegantly dressed sidekick, Louis, feels responsible. Though solving this new case ultimately helps Camille deal with his personal loss, he is dogged by his decision to return to work after Irene's death. But his guilt fades with each burst of intuition he has about the killings; the stranger the case becomes, the more he is drawn into it. A serial killer, deviant sexual behavior and hungry rats figure in the story.

An eloquent thriller with a denouement that raises eyebrows as it speeds the pulse.