O'Brien, Martin - 'Knife Gun Poison Bomb'
A Russian arms dealer is on the run. He has money, he has secrets, and powerful enemies who want him dead. Three hired guns are sent to track him down and kill him. They find him in Marseilles where Chief Inspector Daniel Jacquot is investigating a series of deadly knife attacks. As Christmas approaches and Jacquot closes on the killer, his pregnant lover, Claudine, is rushed to hospital. Jacquot hurries to her bedside, but he soon discovers that a hospital is not the safest place to be. Jacquot may be off duty, and about to become a father, but for a cop in Marseilles Christmas is just another day…
Assassins to finish the Russian off. One to knife him, one to poison him, one to shoot him and one intent on setting off a bomb and take some other infidels along with him as well.
There is another killer on the loose who gets up close to their victim and then pulls out a knife, which is sunk into the victim's lower stomach and then whipped out and slashed across the throat. The killer, the next day, then goes to confession and asks for absolution and forgiveness. Jacquot is desperately trying to investigate these murders as well as getting used to working with a new and female partner and he also seems to visit a lot of restaurants to eat a lot of delicious meals, which are described and make me envious with hunger.
This exceptional writer has penned an absolutely brilliant novel which had me hooked from the first page in. His books are extremely well plotted with with a rich cast of authentic, layered characters and it is a fabulous page turner but very absorbing read. The book is a classic police procedural, extremely well written with a good ear for dialogue and characterisation. The plot with many dramatic twists and turns is vivid and knowledgeable and the widely diverse scenes kept me gripped from start to finish.
This is the author's eight novel with the Chief Inspector Daniel Jacquot as the leading protagonist. The book was very exciting but there are lots of references to other characters and details from the previous novels but these were generally explained for the newer reader. I have read for review, two of his previous books - CONFESSION and THE DYING MINUTES - and I enjoyed this one so much that I have bought his first two books. I found this book very evocative of the French way of life and it reminded me of Inspector Maigret on TV - you could almost taste the hot buttered croissants and smell the French black coffee and Gitanes on every page. This makes this English author very original and at the height of his very considerable story-telling powers. I will certainly look out for more books about Chief Inspector Jacquot by Martin O'Brien. Recommended very highly.
Terry Halligan, England