Death on the Marais, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


She was going to die. She could feel it, her life ebbing away as surely as fine sand through fingers.

The thought caused her more sadness than fear; less a sense of foreboding than a cause to wonder what lay ahead. France, 1963. It's a time of great change in France, not least for Inspector Lucas Rocco.

As part of a nationwide 'initiative' to broaden police operations, he finds himself moved from the Paris metropolis to a small village.

His new patch might be rural, but it's certainly not uneventful: on his first day, he finds a murdered woman wearing a Gestapo uniform lying in a British military cemetery.

When the body is removed by order of a magistrate from the police mortuary before Rocco can finish his investigation, he realises he's up against a formidable enemy.

An enemy who will go to any lengths - even murder - to stop his investigation.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780749009915

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Marais is the French word for marsh and that is what Inspector Lucas Rocco found when he was transferred. He had been a Paris policeman when the Interior Ministry felt that rural provinces needed some Parisian expertise in law enforcement and Rocco was sent to a town in a northwest province of France. His superiors had a few interesting things to say of him “That he was an insubordinate bastard, insolent as well as pushy, dogmatic and a nobody, reckless…a rebel. A good cop though.<br/>Rocco expects the new assignment to be quiet, uneventful and maybe boring but he doesn’t expect that the first thing he runs into in the village to be a crowd pulling a dead woman from the marsh at the edge of a war cemetery wearing a Gestapo uniform twenty years after the war was over.<br/>Rocco’s war experiences were of a later era. He spent his army days in the jungles of Indochina during the conflict between the French and the Vietnamese after France reoccupied the area after WWII.<br/>Once the woman is identified as the daughter of a well-connected wealthy man named Phillippe Bayer-Barbier the detective heads back to Paris following the trail of very dirty secrets. <br/>There is an interesting cast of ancillary characters in this village, the local policeman, a tramp whose expertise is defusing bombs left over from the war as well as several people who service a small mansion where Parisian men come for nefarious mostly sexual purposes and perversions.

Review by

Inspector Rocco is sent to a backwater in Picardy from Paris as part of a reorganisation and is immediately thrown into a mysterious death enquiry with links back into murky WW2 resistance activity. Set in 1963 during the Presidency of de Gaulle it really evokes a country and period still coming to terms with WW2 and people's roles in the resistance. An enjoyable read which left me keen to sample more.