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4.1 out of 5
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  • Superb cold-case crime fiction.

    Extraordinary People is the first book in the Enzo Macleod Investigation series by Scottish journalist, screenwriter and author, Peter May. In late August 1996, French celebrity Jacques Gaillard went missing. It’s one of seven unsolved cases that journalist Roger Raffin has included in his recently published book, and a casual wager between friends sees biology professor and former forensic expert, Enzo Macleod leave his home in Cahors to review the case. Having read all the information Raffin has acquired over the ten intervening years, Enzo manages, in three deft strokes, to prove that Gaillard was murdered. The accidental discovery of partial remains, together with a seemingly random set of objects, has him all the more determined to find the rest of the man, and track down his killers. But Raffin’s newspaper article makes the police look inept, and when, through diligent research into the bizarre collection of objects, they locate a second cache of body parts and equally puzzling objects, Enzo fears they are on a macabre scavenger hunt across France. Meanwhile, he is warned off by the Minister for Justice, the Instructing Judge, and his own boss at the University. To no effect. He’s hooked. Then people start dying… Enzo proposes to rely on his powers of deduction to solve this cold case, but soon realises he needs the assistance of a tech-savvy student and the insider-knowledge of acquaintances. Together they decipher cryptic clues, jumping to conclusions through what at times seem tenuous connections, occasionally mis-stepping, sometimes drawing a long bow, all leading to a rather (too) lengthy underground trek, where a classic denouement and a dramatic last-minute rescue take place. In the course of his quest, Enzo tours the Paris catacombs, jumps from a bridge onto a barge, outlays two hundred euros on a bottle of champagne he doesn’t get to taste, finds ducklings in his bath, digs up a grave, spends several hours in a police cell, discovers two dead bodies, narrowly escapes a stabbing, is the target of road-rage, and is thoroughly annoyed by a certain metal-detector (and its owner), until he isn’t. A master of descriptive prose, May easily captures his setting, both in Paris and in provincial France. The plot has enough distractions and red herrings to keep the pages turning and the reader guessing. From small details dropped into the narrative, Enzo is clearly a complex character whose history is bound to impact on further books in the series, of which there are currently six. Superb cold-case crime fiction.

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  • Extraordinary people

    The French words threw me as I don't know french. Translating stops the flow for me. Maybe it's just me.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Extraordinary People

    Well wrtten and set in a backdrop of France. kept you guessing all the way.

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  • Not a good book for me.

    I didn't enjoy this after the first few chapters, when it seemed to start well. It meandered through France, more like a travelogue with a plot along the way. It used words in French that it didn't need to, although I now know the french word for catflap. It also took the inspiration for the last few chapters from a classic French book that I really don't like.

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  • Ein typischer Peter May Roman - mit Gothic Ending

    Ich bin auf Peter May aufmerksam geworden durch die Lewis Trilogy. Und seit dieser Serie bin ich Peter May verfallen. Seine Protagonisten haben Ecken und Kanten. Jeder Leser kann sich ein wenig in ihnen wiederfinden. Was ein wirklicher Genuß ist, sind die Landschaftsbeschreibungen, als wenn man auf eine Reise mitgenommen wird - der Reisejournalist kommt zum Vorschein. Typisch für May ist, dass irgendwann die Geschichte Fahrt aufnimmt - und die Charakteren entwickeln sich in der Geschichte weiter. Gegen Ende wird- in der Tradition der schottischen Autoren des 19. Jahrhunderts very gothic, so dass man kaum zum Durchatmen kommt. Der Abspann lässt den Leser etwas entspannen - bis zum Wunsch, mehr über Enzo zu erfahren bzw. ihn auf seine Reisen durch Frankreich zu begleiten. Das Buch sollte in Englisch gelesen werden, so dass man den Climax richtig miterleben kann. Ich habe dieses Buch wirklich genossen. Wer, wie ich, die Lewis Trilogy genossen hat, wird nicht enttäuscht.

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