Loose-Limbed by David Barrie
|Loose-Limbed by David Barrie|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The third in the Paris-based police procedural series and the best yet. Definitely recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: March 2011|
|Publisher: John Law Media|
|External links: Author's website|
Captain Franck Guerin of the Brigade Criminelle was about to learn a lot more about ballet than he ever expected or wanted to know. Sophie Duval was a leading dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet – an etoile – and she was murdered in her home. A chord had been wrapped three times around her neck and then she had been strangled, but why? It seemed simple to rule out professional jealousy and she seemed to have little life outside of the ballet. The Opera Ballet is a tight-knit and dedicated world, but it's not long before it's a world of terror, because Sophie Duval is only the first person to die.
In every fiction genre there are people who deserve to be a lot better known than they are. David Barrie and his superb creation, Captain Franck Guerin are of that number. I remember reading the first book in the series with some trepidation. I mean, the author is a management consultant! A few pages in and I was hooked. I wondered about the second novel. Would it prove to be that 'difficult second book' which doesn't live up to expectation? Nope – it was just as good. And what of this, the third in the series? Would tiredness have set in? No – it's the best of them all so far. And I say so far deliberately because I have a feeling that David Barrie is just getting into his stride.
The setting, as you would expect, is the Paris Opera and by the time that you've read this book you'll feel that you know it intimately. It's not somewhere that you can just pop in and have a look around, particularly when it comes to the non-public areas, but you get a real sense of the utilitarian feel of the backstage areas compared to the 'front-of-house'. The characters come dancing off the page. They're most of them performers and just that little bit larger than life – the people who've got to the top of their profession because they're obsessive about what they do and prepared to do what they have to do to stay there.
Yes, I know you want to know about the plot. It's superb. The solution took me completely by surprise but was totally logical. It was one of those books where I really disliked getting to the end. There is an on-going story over the series which means that it's better to read the books in order, but it's not a major problem if you can only get hold of a later book. Don't deny yourself the pleasure.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If you haven't already read Wasp-Waisted and Night-Scented you're missing a treat. It's a totally different type of crime novel but another one which could so easily be overlooked as people dash to the big names is Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes.
You can read more book reviews or buy Loose-Limbed by David Barrie at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Loose-Limbed by David Barrie at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.