Guarda o muori (Look and Die)

Ich sehe was, und das ist tot
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, Book # 3
September 20, 2017
May 14, 2023 May 17, 2023
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Monday 28 September, 00.17. The Düsseldorf police receive a strange call: someone has noticed suspicious movements in an abandoned factory in the port area. But when the agents arrive on site, they immediately realise that it is not trivial trafficking: this is a case for Homicide; this is a case for Georg Stadler. Awakened with a start and led to the scene, the commissioner is faced with a disconcerting sight: a pool of blood on the floor, a razor, a shattered mirror, but… no corpse. Just an obscure code drawn on the wall. An indecipherable mystery, except that a few days later, in a hotel room, the body of a woman is found wearing only a pair of briefs, her right hand resting on her chest in an unnatural pose. Her blood everywhere: on the white sheets, on the carpet, on the victim's neck and long hair. Two seemingly unrelated cases, yet Stadler can't free himself from a suspect: both crime scenes seem set up like a macabre film set. The Commissioner just has to resort again to the help of Liz Montario, the brilliant profiler to whom he is bound by a subtle attraction. But this time even Liz will have a hard time, because every progress in the investigation, every new discovery seems to converge on a single suspect: Commissioner Stadler himself.

This book doesn’t have an English version.

About the book

A killer who plays out the most famous Horror films, a new flame for Commissioner Stadler and a colleague resentful of a case involving a policewoman he was in love with. In this new chapter of the Stadler and Montario saga, the commissioner and the psychologist will have to capture a bleak assassin.

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One Way or Another

Todo modo

Carcanet Press
S. Rabonvich
April 26, 2023 April 29, 2023
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The novel, set in the seventies, has as its protagonist a famous painter, whose name is never mentioned, who needs a period of peace in solitude. Seeing a sign indicating a hermitage, the Hermitage of Zafer (not better defined geographically), the painter thinks of going there. He then discovers that the hermitage has been transformed into a hotel founded by the ambiguous Don Gaetano and that at certain times of the year it hosts people of high social class (ministers, politicians, bank directors...) for spiritual retreats.

About the book

What’s the argument of this book? I have no idea… really. I know we are in an unmentioned village (certainly in Sicily since Sciascia, if I remember correctly, wrote about Sicily), the protagonist, a painter, driving around sees a building that could be a hotel or a hermitage and that this is managed by priests. There are some strange meetings between the most powerful of the region or of the state, I didn’t understand it, and that there is a live rosary. Well, I managed to write something…so maybe I got the argument…

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The Coroner’s Lunch

The Coroner’s Lunch

, Book # 1
Soho Crime
April 14, 2023 April 20, 2023
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Laos, 1976: Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old medical doctor, has been unwillingly appointed the national coroner of newly-socialist Laos. Though his lab is underfunded, his boss is incompetent, and his support staff is quirky to say the least, Siri’s sense of humor gets him through his often frustrating days.

When the body of the wife of a prominent politician comes through his morgue, Siri has reason to suspect the woman has been murdered. To get to the truth, Siri and his team face government secrets, spying neighbors, victim hauntings, Hmong shamans, botched romances, and other deadly dangers. Somehow, Siri must figure out a way to balance the will of the party and the will of the dead.

About the book

First in the Doctor Siri Paiboun series. The plot follows Dr Siri, now a coroner, who is faced with peculiar cases such as a body recovered from the river and a judge’s wife whom he thinks has been poisoned.

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Dark Water

Dark Water
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, Book # 3
Grand Central Publishing
October 20, 2016
April 3, 2023 April 13, 2023
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When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news when she vanished twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she discovers a family harbouring secrets, a detective plagued by her failure to find Jessica, and the mysterious death of a man living by the quarry.

About the book

The plot follows Inspector Erika Foster who investigates the death of a little girl who went missing 26 years ago. In the course of the investigation, family secrets and conspiracies emerge, and Erika’s life is put in danger.

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The Fourth Figure

De vierde gestalte

, Book # 3
Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller
January 1, 1998
Dutch; Flemish
Brian Doyle
March 3, 2023 March 11, 2023
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A young woman is found dead in the canal outside her Bruges apartment building. But what seems like a clear-cut suicide evolves into something much more complex when Commissioner Pieter Van In uncovers the girl’s involvement in a satanic sect. Who is the mysterious Venex, and why does he inspire such devotion from his disciples?

Complicating the investigation further, Van In’s boss allows beautiful journalist Saartje Maes to profile the case, sparking tension with the commissioner’s expectant wife, District Attorney Hannelore Martens. As a horrific tragedy shocks the city, Van In seems to be surrounded by secrets. And though exposing them will lead him to the truth, it will also pit him against the very police force to which he’s devoted his life.

A Belgian national bestseller, has been reprinted in Dutch seventeen times. It is the 4th book in the Pieter Van In Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

What I think

Cases on satanic cults interest me a lot but sadly that wasn’t really the focus of the book. I would have preferred less drama and more sect. I still don’t like the main character. Also when in chapter 11 you already understand how it ends and you really don’t like it. I don’t want to give too much spoiler but there are some “clichés” that I just can’t digest and unfortunately one is mentioned here. This made my rating drop by a lot. I don’t think I will continue with a series and the main reason is that I don’t like Van In.