Sunday, October 19, 2014
The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier
Saint-Martin-de-Comminges is a tiny town high in the French Pyrenees where nothing too exciting ever happens. Workers at a hydroelectric plant stumble across an elaborately staged corpse that brings in the police and the state investigative units to try and find answers. The current crime unearths a web of lies from the past that puts everyone in danger from the highest halls of power to the everyday sidewalks of the town.
I generally like European suspense novels because their tone is usually much more stark and the narrative is very spare compared to American works in the genre. I'm a firm fan of "show me, don't tell me." This book was good overall but the action was slow to start and there seemed to be some characters who existed solely to give exposition. I'm not a fan of switching narrators within a book and the portions of the plot with police Commandant Martin Servaz were definitely much more compelling than that of the psychologist Diane Berg. The serial killer element with the asylum in the mountains did have a nice Silence of the Lambs / Shining vibe that added an extra layer of creepiness.