Tight-Lipped by David Barrie

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Tight-Lipped by David Barrie

Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The fifth book in the Capatin Franck Guerin series, set in Paris, is as good or even better than its predecessors. It's a series that deserves to be more widely known.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: October 2014
Publisher: John Law Media
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0956251886

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It's a little bit different in the UK but in Paris intellectuals are lauded in much the same way as rock stars. Jean-Jacques Marsay is a philosopher and equally as famous as his wife, the beautiful and talented actress, Carine Dufour. Marsay is writing a book about Appoghiu Terra - an eco-terrorist organisation - and its leader Gabriel Agostini. His editor is Virginie Desmoulins - or rather was - because Virginie was murdered at her flat in a rather unusual way. The case is being investigated by Captain Franck Guerin of the Brigade Criminelle and he and Agostini have a history. Agostini shot and seriously wounded Guerin when Guerin was with his previous employers, the French version of the security services. He was moved on to the Brigade Criminelle when it was thought that he might have become just a little too sympathetic to Agostini - and Agostini to him.

I'd been getting worried - it's more than two years since I had my last Franck Guerin fix, and decidedly relieved when Tight-Lipped landed on my desk. I'll confess that I saved it for a treat. If I say that these books are formulaic I don't mean that in any way as a criticism. In each one the story has been centred on a particular trade or profession or even a couple of them - in Tight-Lipped it's publishing and acting - and you read the story as though you're an insider. You'll understand the ups and downs, the quirks, the problems and the worries as well as the public face which we all see. Barrie has a real talent for conveying facts in a way which doesn't leave you feeling as though you're being educated. There's obviously a great deal of research backing the book, but it never feels as though there's a need to shoehorn in every last fact.

For the first time in this series I worked out 'whodunnit'. No - it wasn't a lucky guess! I worked out the who and the why but it took nothing away from the enjoyment of the read. The characters are great and even the minor players come off the page well. Barrie neatly brings out the more outrageous personalities without in any way diminishing people like Guerin and also allows the more extrovert characters to have depth of feeling - and feet of clay. (That was carefully phrased - I am not giving you any clues!)

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag and plead for there not to be quite such a long gap before the next book.

You could read this book as a stand alone, but if you start at the beginning you'll know a lot more about the background to Guerin's relationship with Agostini and it's hardly a hardship. But don't worry - even if you read the books out of order there are no spoilers for other books in the series.

Buy Tight-Lipped by David Barrie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tight-Lipped by David Barrie at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Tight-Lipped by David Barrie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tight-Lipped by David Barrie at Amazon.com.


Booklists.jpg Tight-Lipped by David Barrie is in the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2014.

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