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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: "The Frozen Dead" (Commandant Martin Servaz #1) by Bernard Minier

The first victim is a horse: its headless body hangs suspended from the edge of a frozen cliff.
On the same day as the gruesome discovery, a young psychiatrist starts her first job at a secure asylum for the criminally insane, just a few miles away.
Commandant Servaz, a Toulouse city cop, can't believe he has been called out over the death of an animal. But there is something disturbing about this crime that he cannot ignore.
Then DNA from one of the most notorious inmates of the asylum is found on the corpse... and a few days later the first murder takes place.
In this snowbound valley, deep in the Pyrenees, a dark story of madness and revenge is unfolding. It will take all of Servaz's
skill to solve it.
*(summary courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review:
I am pleased to say that this was a great psychological, mystery thriller! It's not everyday that you come across a book that keeps you guessing until the end. With its twists and turns, this novel gave me heart palpitations and left me unable to guess the final outcome of the plot.
The POV shifts between two characters: Commandant Servaz and Dr. Diane Berg. It's kind of funny because I kept wondering when the two would finally cross paths; it seemed to take forever. Anyways, I suppose one character was supposed to give the reader eyes into the Institute, and the other into the investigation. Later on the book, it almost felt like Diane was kind of an irrelevant character, by the way. All the characters seemed to be raw and uncut-- it was very refreshing to read characters without the pretenses.
Please note that this story is not for the fainthearted. It will not only "touch" on psychology and touchy subjects such as rape and abuse, it will reach the depths of your mind and (pardon my French, lol) mind-fuck you. Having to read the perverted ways of people, especially the criminally insane, made me want to scrub myself clean and click my heels three times to go home. If you want to stay away from this book, I don't blame you...ignorance is bliss after all.

Favorite Quotes:
"If there's one thing we do learn in this job," he said, "it is that people are rarely what they seem. And that everyone has something to hide." - Servaz
"What if, for example, you have the choice at an election between three candidates: the first one is half paralyzed by polio, suffers from high blood pressure and anemia and numerous other serious illnesses, has been known to lie, consults an astrologist, cheats on his wife, is a chain-smoker and drinks too many martinis; the second one is obese, has already lost three elections, is going through a depression and has had two heart attacks, smokes cigars and in the evening glugs champagne, port, brandy and whiskey before taking two sleeping tablets; and the third one is a decorated war hero who respects women, loves  animals, might drink a beer from time to time and doesn't 't smoke. Which one would you choose?"
Servaz grinned.
"I suppose you expect me to say the third on?"
"Well done, you've just rejected Roosevelt and Churchill and elected Adolf Hitler. You see, things are never what they seem."
496 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Minotaur Books
Rating:  🔔 🔔 🔔 🔔
Recommend?  I highly recommend!


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