Silver-Tongued by David Barrie

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Silver-Tongued by David Barrie

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The sixth book in the Franck Guerin series is a cracking good read: this is still a great series to follow. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: March 2018
Publisher: John Law Media
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0995590908

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Bruno Kahn is a bit like Marmite: people either love him or hate him. He's a psychiatrist, who has managed to insert himself into one of the richest families in France. There are those who suspect that he's exerting undue influence over the head of the family, Guy Larroque, who is either 'not as sharp as he used to be' or 'suffering from vascular dementia', depending on where you stand within the family. At the vascular dementia end of the continuum is Guy's daughter, Sabine Larroque, who's paid Samuel Bencherif, a freelance photographer, to dog the footsteps of Kahn and Guy Larroque's (very) young wife in the hope of finding something which she can use to free her father from their clutches. So far, so very much as the very rich live, until Bencherif is found bludgeoned to death in a passageway by the Theatre de l'Odeon in the centre of Paris.

Silver-Tongued is the sixth book in David Barrie's Captain Franck Guerin series and they've all been consistently good. Guerin's an appealing character: a caffeine addict with an unusual history in the Brigade Criminelle, he's wedded to the job and seemingly unworried about what he has to do to solve the cases which come his way. He's supported in all his cases by the same juge d'instruction and forensic investigators and they make a good and believable team.

Paris must be one of the greatest locations in the world for a police procedural and Barrie brings it to life brilliantly. I sometimes wonder if he's going to go just a little too far in the historical background he provides, but he always manages to stay just nicely on the side of being informative rather than obviously educational. I always come away from these books feeling that I've learned a great deal without having had to make a lot of effort. It's not just tourist Paris which you're going to see either: quite a few of the places you'll visit are probably the ones you'd much rather avoid.

So, great characters who come off the page fully formed and a location to die for - quite literally in this case - but it's the plot you really want to know about isn't it? We're back in 2012 and Barrie taps into the rise of the ultra right wing in politics and the way that many groups of people are perceived as outsiders. It's thought provoking and very relevant. I did work out the name of the murderer and what was behind it, but not until quite late in the book and it certainly didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story.

It's three years since the last Franck Guerin book and I was beginning to wonder if he'd retired: it's such a pleasure to find that he's still going strong. All the books work well as stand alones but you'll get more out of them if you read them in order. Start with Wasp-Waisted.

Buy Silver-Tongued by David Barrie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Silver-Tongued by David Barrie at

Buy Silver-Tongued by David Barrie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Silver-Tongued by David Barrie at


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