A few years ago I was sent a book by the above author. It was a detective story set in Marseilles and it featured a certain Daniel Jacquot. I read this book, fell in love and then read all the books in the series and became totally hooked. Here is my original review and I have just reread it and still mean every single word.
After reading the entire series so far, and the ending of the last one, knocked me for six, see my review here, I was really wondering how the next one would turn out and what would happen to Gorgeous Daniel (please note for purposes of brevity he will be GD from now on), so when it dropped through my letter box I seized it, abandoned all my plans for the day (housework PAH!) and esconsed myself on sofa with cuppa and started reading. Three hours later I closed up Talking to the Sharks with a huge sense of sadness as it looks as if this might be the last Jacquot. I shall be firing off a very terse email to the author if this is the case.
OK so off we go. Since the events of the last book, five years have passed and whither GD? Well, he is living on a beach in the Caribbean with his two young daughters and has left the Marseilles Judiciare far behind. He wants nothing more to do with that life, his focus has changed, but then out of the blue somebody from his past turns up. An early lover, Boni, has tracked him down. She needs his help.
"And now she was here. But the man she had come for wasn't this man. As tall as Jacquot, but slimmer, older, his hair a ragged, greyish brown fall of sun bleached tatters, his thick curling beard full around his cheeks and almost matted into the hair on his chest. he looked like a beach bum, a Caribbean Crusoe. Dripping wet. Brown as a coconut.
But then as he drew closer she saw his eyes.
And heard his voice.
It's been a while he said"
Well what an entrance. I ask you. Be still my beating heart.
Boni's husband has disappeared and looks as if he has run off with money he has been creaming off the casinos he runs and a young beautiful woman has vanished with him. She wants GD to find him for her. He refuses. His life is different now he no longer wants to be a policeman.
Then she is found dead. Curled up in bed with slashed wrists. Suicide. And of course, we know and GD knows that it is nothing of the sort, it is murder. Then somebody who claims to be her husband turns up and tells Daniel that he had Boni murdered and her husband and he wants him to track down the mysterious woman who has taken all the money. And if he does not help, his children will be in danger.
So the scene is set and I must not tell you any more as I want you to go out and get hold of this simply marvellous book and read for yourself.
On and where do the sharks come in? Cue entrance of a Mafia style boss who loves opera and who enjoys chucking his enemies overboard to be scoffed by aforementioned fishes all the while listening to Callas singing Carmen. Pure grand guignol and pretty scary stuff.
Before I go I simply have to say once more that the visual depictions of sun, sea and food in the Jacquot books is stunning, they have a sensual feel to them that is difficult for me to convey in a review you simply have to read them to appreciate them.
"A line of palmetto either side of the drive, strands of jacaranda and tamarisk, a pair of peacocks trailing their tail plumage.... the houses, a two storied colonial property painted a soft canary yellow, with white shutters on a dozen windows, and a wrap around gingerbread verandah....the ocean glittered beyond it".
This property belongs to a character we meet later in Talking to the Sharks. She is tall and elegant and beautiful:
"her hands were long and slim and elegant with plainly lacquered nails. Handling the car with an air of confidence, she unpinned her black straw hat, tossed it into the back and loosened her bun. As the hair tumbled across her shoulders and she raked it out with her fingers her scent slid across the seat and Jacquot felt the warm fragrant closeness of her"
And her name?
I LOVE this book