Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Review of Death in Bordeaux by Allan Massie (Quartet Books, 2010)
The premise of Death in Bordeaux - a cop constrained by circumstance - is an interesting one. Massie manages to keep the uncertainty and concessions working until the last page, but the tension is undermined somewhat by a fairly long-winded narrative, pedestrian pace, and the contrived nature of the plot concerning de Grimaud family. Lannes is an interesting enough cop, dogged and reflective, who worries for the safety of his family, and feels increasingly at sea in the new political terrain, and the characterisation in general is nicely done. And there is a good sense of place and historical contextualisation. However, I never really connected with the story, which felt ponderous and flat. Overall, a run of the mill, historical police procedural.