#BookReview - Alex by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne)

 SHE'S RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Alex Prévost - kidnapped, beaten, suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse in a wooden cage - is in no position to bargain. Her abductor's only desire is to watch her die. 

HE WANTS ONLY ONE THING

Apart from a shaky police report, Commandant Camille Verhoven has nothing to go on: no suspect, no leads. If he is to find Alex, he will have to get inside her head. 

ESCAPE IS JUST THE BEGINNING

Resourceful, tough, beautiful, always two steps ahead - Alex will keep Verhoven guessing till the bitter end. And before long, saving her life will be the least of his worries.

This isn't going to be an easy review to write. Not because I don't know what to say about the book - there's plenty I could say, but I really don't want to give away any spoilers and in a book that's as packed with twists as this one that's not easy. So I won't be saying much about the plot, suffice to say it's one of the most gripping, shocking and gr…

#BookReview - Made Safe by Francis Sparks




For Private Investigator, Moses Winter, the job just got more complicated. His adultery case has taken a violent turn landing the subject of his investigation, Fred Dunsmore, in the hospital and Moses in jail. Moses is held for questioning along with his erratic client, Sharon Dunsmore, and Fred’s mistress, a Bosnian refugee who just happens to be related to the DCI agent investigating the case, Raif Rakić.

After Rakić secures their release, Fred goes missing, and Moses Winter finds himself compelled to find him. With the assistance of Rakic, Moses unravels Fred's ties to Des Moines's underworld and is forced to confront the most heinous crimes of his career.


I've said before on this blog that I really enjoy books that have a strong sense of setting and Made Safe certainly does that. Previously only really known to me as the childhood home of Bill Bryson, Des Moines is brought chillingly (literally so, the snow and ice of the Iowan winter certainly play their part here) to life. It's not just the location that provides the shivers here though, Private Investigator, Moses Winter and DCI Raif Rakić find themselves working together on a case that uncovers a truly odious criminal ring. A reluctant hero, Moses Winter is thrown into danger after taking on what should have been a simple investigation into adultery. However, once involved he will not give up and it's his tenacity, even when his life is at real risk, that makes him such an engaging character. He has his fair share of flaws too, not least his tendency to act first and think later but he is a likeable, principled man who has a dry wit about him too. This is just the first book in what will be a series of books featuring Moses, and with such a strong protagonist I certainly think Francis Sparks will be gaining plenty of fans. Raif Rakić is a rather refreshing police officer in a mystery involving a private investigator because he works with, rather than against Moses. Their working relationship has a somewhat rocky start but as events proceed they develop a mutual respect for one another. Rakić has his reasons for wanting the villains they are investigating put behind bars beyond just a simple desire for a police officer to solve a case. His past in Bosnia and his family ties mean he has a special interest in the criminal underbelly they uncover in Des Moines.
Faced paced from the start, Made Safe builds towards a really tense finale. With an all too contemporary mystery at the heart of the book and some really unsavoury villains, this is a taut, atmospheric thriller and a really solid start to a new series. I look forward to meeting Moses again.
My grateful thanks to the author for sending me a copy of Made Safe.

Made Safe is published by Pandamoon Publishing.

Francis Sparks is on Twitter as @writingsparks and his website is here.

About the Author

Francis Sparks lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his amazing wife, Kelly. If he’s not working on his next novel or short story, you can find him teaching his children about dragons.

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