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Alexby Pierre Lemaitre
Synopses & Reviews
In this gripping, fiendishly plotted detective novel, Alex Prévost is kidnapped, savagely beaten, and suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned industrial building in a wooden cage — she is running out of time. Her abductor/torturer appears to desire only one thing: to watch her die. Will hunger, thirst, or the rats get her first?
One witness has filed a report with the police, but apart from this insubstantial bit of evidence Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven has nothing to go on: no suspect, no other leads. To understand what has happened to Alex, the detective — a man with a tragic past but extraordinary abilities as an investigator — must first understand more about the girl whose life he is trying to save. As he slowly uncovers the story of the girl’s unusual childhood, he comes to realize she is no ordinary victim. She is beautiful, yes, but also extremely tough and resourceful — and unconventional in the extreme.
As the manhunt is drawing to its conclusion, the case shifts in the most shocking way. Before long, saving Alex’s life will be the least of Commandant Verhoeven’s considerable challenges.
"At the outset of French author Lemaitre's impressive American debut, the first in a trilogy, attractive 30-year-old Alex Prévost is shopping for wigs in a Paris shop when she spots a man waiting on the street who's clearly been following her. Perhaps he's just an admirer who wants to meet her, she thinks. That night, after dining alone at a restaurant, Alex is accosted on the sidewalk by a man who, after discarding the wig he initially grabbed and seizing her by her real hair, throws her into a white van. Soon Alex finds herself trapped inside a wooden crate suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse. Meanwhile, Commandant Camille Verhoeven throws himself into the kidnapping investigation as a way to deal with his grief over his wife's death, but he and his detectives have few clues to aid them in identifying Alex's abductor. An irritant to his superiors but respected by his subordinates, Verhoeven uses his diminutive stature to unsettle witnesses and suspects while surprising them with his intelligence and wit. Some unexpected plot twists will keep readers turning the pages. 150,000-copy first printing. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"It is uplifting to watch the birth of a great author....Half crime novel, half thriller, 100 percent successful!" Le Figaro
"Before you can say Gone Girl, he discovers the crime is far from random and Alex anything but an ordinary victim. This gritty page-turner, Alex, is the first in a promised trilogy.Plus, s'il vous plaît." Entertainment Weekly
"An eloquent thriller with a denouement that raises eyebrows as it speeds the pulse." Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Fascinating...filled with many twists and turns of plot along with a huge surprise.” Booklist
“Will keep you turning pages until well past your bedtime — with all the lights on, of course.” Library Journal
“What begins as a search for a missing person soon becomes a beguiling series of investigations linked only by Alex, a Parisian version of Lisbeth Salander. Camille, volatile, brilliant and just under 5ft, is an equally riveting figure.” The Sunday Times
“A weaver of dark and disturbing crime fiction....Lemaître brings his stinging, bitter story to a genuinely unexpected conclusion. We are not in the comfortable world of Inspector Maigret here — this is harsh, fierce crime writing with a Gauloise tinge. It would not be out of place filmed in black-and-white by the late, lamented Francois Truffaut, who loved crime tales like this." The Daily Mail
About the Author
Pierre Lemaitre was a literature professor for many years before turning to novel writing full-time. His five books to date have earned him critical and public acclaim as a master of both the crime novel and the thriller.
Frank Wynne has translated works by Michel Houellebecq, Boualem Sansal, and many more. He won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2005 for his translation of Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World.
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