Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Review: SUMMERTIME, ALL THE CATS ARE BORED, by Philippe Georget
Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored is the perfect mystery beach read with what might be the best title ever. It evokes sun, ennui and long days filled with both. (The original French title is L'été, tous les chats s'ennuient) Set in the Mediterranean resort town of Perpignan, the story concerns a series of murders and kidnappings in which the victims are mostly young Dutch women on vacation. First, a retiree finds a dead woman on the beach. Then, detectives Gilles Sebag and Jacques Molina are brought in to investigate the disappearance of a Spanish cab driver which quickly becomes tied to the kidnapping of a second woman, and then we're off to the races.
I have to say, I loved this book. I did not want to put it down. Unburdened by anything resembling important social issues, it's just a good old fashioned thriller with a delicious sense of place and setting. Sebag is a happily married man with kids, an anomaly among detective-novel detectives, and his thing is he loves his coffee, so we are treated to some very descriptive scenes of him enjoying (or not) his java. And the whole thing just feels sun-drenched and beautiful despite the horror beneath. I could see All the Cats being made into a really great art-house whodunit on the big screen. Even though I know who did it, I would totally go see it.
So this one gets a big thumbs-up from me for crime fans. It's satisfying, enjoyable and riveting; Georget alternates the perspectives so we hear from the detectives, the kidnapping victim, and the kidnapper in turn, and he builds some wrenching suspense along the way. The case makes Sebag a little crazy; he starts imagining that his beautiful wife is unfaithful, and this plot adds some urgency and creepiness that I thought worked well. All in all I think this is a great fun book!
This is my 13th book of 2013 for this year's Europa Challenge.
FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.