Death at the Clos du Lac


Picardie, 1964. At the exclusive – and reclusive – Clos du Lac sanatorium, a grisly discovery is made in the swimming pool, triggering another case for Inspector Lucas Rocco, ‘France’s answer to Jack Reacher’ (Crime Squad) – though think Reacher as Lee Child intended him, not – please – Tom Cruise. A well-paced, tightly plotted tale ensues, revealing dark doings in high office and bringing Rocco and his small, rural police force into conflict with the forces of international diplomacy.

This is Adrian Magson’s fourth Lucas Rocco novel, and my third. Opening it at the first page was like settling into a favourite armchair. The ingredients that have made the earlier novels in the series work so well – the evocation of the atmospheric, waterlogged landscape, the lively characterisation of Rocco’s team and his rustic, yet shrewd neighbours, the juxtaposition of murderous malarkey and serious social comment – are all here, inspiring absolute confidence in the reader. I knew I was in for a good read from the ingeniously ghastly outset, and I was not disappointed.

Has anybody bought up the TV rights yet? If not, why not? The 9pm whodunit slot is just crying out for a series of Lucas Rocco mysteries. Though who to cast as the gorgeous, brooding detective with his long black overcoat and his deep, dark past…? Hmmm. Now there is meat for some enjoyable speculation!

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