Irene : The Brigade Criminelle Trilogy Book 1, Hardback

Irene : The Brigade Criminelle Trilogy Book 1 Hardback

Part of the Brigade Criminelle Series series

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


For Commandant Verhoeven life is beautiful: he is happily married, expecting his first child with the lovely Irene.

But his blissful existence is punctured by a murder of unprecedented savagery.

Worse still, the press seem to have it in for him - his every move is headline news.

When he discovers that the killer has killed before - that each murder is a homage to a classic crime novel - the fourth estate are quick to coin a nickname...The Novelist...With both men in the public eye, the case develops into a personal duel, each hell-bent on outsmarting the other.

There can only be one winner - whoever has the least to lose...


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780857052889



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Irene is the prequel to Lemaitre's Alex, which preceded it in translation. Consequently I had read Alex first, which to do so can prove a bit unfortunate for obvious reasons, so I do recommend you stick to the proper order if you have yet to read both. And read you must, for I couldn't recommend this author highly enough. He writes so well, he is excellent on plot, characterization, atmosphere and tension building. But there is a word of caution: his portrayal of violence, particularly violence against women, is not for the meek, and may put off some. But it is not necessarily gratuitous, and while you would be forgiven for moving quickly on at some points, you should not let it detract from your pursuit of otherwise top quality crime writing, which both these titles are. It would be good to know though that an author of Lemaitre's obvious talent could produce just as capable a work without the need for such graphic depictions of violence.A serial killer is on the loose, and his murders show marked similarities to those featured in some classic, and even some obscure, crime fiction novels. The diminutive and interesting Commandant Camille Verhoeven of the Paris police force and his team have the task of trying to find the murderer. To add even more interest to the plot, the Irene of the title refers to Verhaeven's wife, who is pregnant with their first child. Thus all the while you are reading this book you might wonder to what extent Verhoeven's personal life forms part of the story. Also too there is an academic who sees the similarities between one murder and that featured in a crime novel by James Ellroy, and an irritating journalist who is not making Verhoeven's life any easier.Inevitably there is a race to catch the killer before he strikes again, you will be working just as hard as Verhoeven to make sense of the clues as you go. An engaging read, you will soon want to follow it up with Alex.

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