Five Dead Men by Rachel Green
When the bodies of five men are discovered in a secret vault at the villa Belle Époque, suspicion falls upon the villa’s former owner, enigmatic Pascal Deveraux.
Actor, gambler, general good-for-nothing - Pascal has lived a life of privilege and excess. But with no evidence to implicate him in murder, the case goes unsolved.
Called in to investigate the cold case, it’s not long before Margot’s enquiries re-open old wounds. Aided by policière municipale, Alia Leon, the investigation moves swiftly from the smugglers’ trails of the Pyrenees to the cannabis clubs of Barcelona. And it’s there, in the dark medieval streets of the city’s Gothic Quarter, that someone finds a reason to silence her.
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I very much enjoyed meeting Margot Renard in Body on the Rocks, so was delighted to return to the Pyrenees Orientale where another case needs her careful investigating skills. This time she is sent to a sleepy village where little happens, aside from the gruesome discovery of five bodies in the vault of a villa, whose identities and killer remain unknown.
Margot wastes no time in stirring things up in the village and gaining access to the villa and the dysfunctional family who used to live there. Alongside Alia, who is clearly wasted in her currentpolice municipale position, every shred of evidence from the police files is carefully combed through until a tenuous link is found and our duo then find themselves on the trail of a possible lead, but not everyone is happy with their involvement.
This book is cleverly crafted with an intriguing plot and lots for my brain to contemplate as I’m reading. There are dark deeds and mysterious characters whose behaviour attracts suspicion, and as Margot sets off into unknown territory, the plot becomes both thrilling and heart-stopping in places. Despite the danger she found herself in, there is something about Margot’s calm and clear thinking that gave me great confidence in her ability not only to solve the case, but to survive.
This is the second book in the Madame Renard Investigates series, and I’ve really enjoyed them both and I’m hoping there will be more.
If you are looking for something engaging to read this summer, I’m sure you will love Five Dead Men.
You can read my review of the first book in the series here:
Rachel Green is the pen name of a writer from the UK. Rachel has twice been longlisted for both the Bath Novel Award and the BPA First Novel Award, as well as being on the shortlist for the Capital Crime New Voices Award. Rachel lives in a tiny village in England, but travels frequently to the south of France where the stories from the Madame Renard Investigates series are set.