This  Man Reads….

Alex – Pierre Lemaitre – As good as it gets!

Alex – Pierre Lemaitre – Commandant Camille Verhoeven

(Book # 2)      


Author of Alex - Pierre LemaitreSeveral weeks ago, when I was in the library I saw an interesting book titled Camille, by a French author Pierre Lemaitre it is the third book in  a series that features Commandant Camille Verhoeven. At the time I didn’t know that, but I did see that the Camille was the sequel to Alex, so I requested  Alex thinking that I was starting at the beginning of the series. Wrong – Alex was actually the first of the three books to be translated and released in the US, but the first book in the series is actually Irene. And since Camille is suffering from the effects of what happened in Irene, I wish I had read that book first!! With that being said I am actually glad that I read Alex because it was a terrific read. I guess, that is to be expected from a book that won the 2013 International Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel. Let me tell you, the book lived up to its billing! From Pierre Lemaitre’s website…..

Commandant Camille Verhoeven has nothing to go on: no suspect, no lead, rapidly diminishing hope. All he knows is that Alex Prévost was snatched off the streets of Paris and bundled into a white van. But Alex – beautiful, resourceful, tough – is no ordinary victim.

Alex was kidnapped by the father of her ex-boyfriend, who is missing. The father hangs a naked Alex in a cage and tells her he wants to watch her DIE! He frequently comes back to take her picture, as she starts her descent toward death, oh and to feed the rats!! The father keeps returning, until the night the police discover that he is the kidnapper, but rather than be captured, the father jumps to his death on a busy Parisian street….. and now the question becomes can Camille and his fellow officers find Alex before she dies!! Oh, and before they do, they discover the body of her ex-boyfriend…..his killer murdered him by pouring battery acid down his throat!! Is is connected to Alex???

Yes the pages flew by on this one and the solution to the crimes was not the resolution of the story!! And the end, well, that what sets Alex apart from your average crime fiction!!!

For those of you who like me may be unfamiliar with Pierre Lemaitre here is some biographical information from Wikipedia…..

Pierre Lemaitre (born 19 April 1951 in Paris) is a Prix Goncourt-winning French author and a screenwriter. His first novel to be translated into English, Alex,[1] is a translation of the French book of the same title,[2] it won the CWA International Dagger for best crime novel of 2013.[1][3] In November 2013, he was awarded the Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary prize, for Au revoir là-haut, an epic about World War I.[4] His novel Camille won the CWA International Dagger in 2015 Read More

Bottom Line: Alex was one terrific ride….it had me at the beginning the middle and the end!! The characters are all well drawn from Alex to Camille and his fellow officers. Here is a quote from the back cover of the book that sums up Alex nicely…… Rating *****

Oh, and by the way, I just requested Irene from my library!

“Moves from read-as-fast-as-you-can horror to an intricately plotted race to a dark truth” Guardian

Book 33 for 2015

Links to Further Explorations of the novels of Pierre Lemaitre