The final journey for today takes us to France. It’s an international bestseller and another fast.paced crime thriller.
The 7th Woman
by Frédérique Molay, translated by Anne Trager
Summary: There’s no rest for Paris’s top criminal investigation division, La Crim’. Who is preying on women in the French capital? How can he kill again and again without leaving any clues? A serial killer is taking pleasure in a macabre ritual that leaves the police on tenterhooks. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky—a super cop with a modern-day real life, including an ex-wife, a teenage son and a budding love story—races against the clock to solve the murders as they get closer and closer to his inner circle. Will he resist the pressure?
My thoughts: Nico Sirksy is the kind of cop that gets things done. Sleep is overrated and even the onset of a nasty stomach ulcer does not slow him down. He has a complicated family set-up, but is clearly devoted to his son, sister and mother. A serial killer has come to Paris and is killing women of a certain type – 30ish, brunette, successful and pregnant. Their deaths are gruesome, as the killer engages in a cruel and sickening process of torture, pain and humiliation. When the killers actively seeks out Nico and threatens to hurt the women in his family, Sirsky ups his game in order to catch the murderer before the seventh victim – potentially one of his own family – falls victim.
Unfortunately I worked out who the killer was quite early on, but still had to keep reading to confirm my suspicions. There were even times that I thought I had got it wrong, leaving me more intrigued and keen to read on. Molay creates plenty of tension as the plot builds, the desperation of the officers is clear to see and the emotional pressure they are under is beautifully depicted. As with many books that are not written in English, there is a definite style difference in that there are many long descriptive passages. In this case, the author clearly feels the needs to make sure that the reader understands the procedures and the mindsets of his characters. I particularly enjoy these ‘info dumps’ and want to know as much as I can about the setting, the scenery, the history. I appreciate that many others will find this a little excessive, but this is definitely not a case of style over substance. The plot flows very well, the characters are fully developed and the reader is invited into their world, warts and all!
I’ve read many books by foreign authors and this one, from Le French publications, is by far one of the best so far. I’ve come to realise that I prefer the style of European writers and will actively seek out these authors from now on.