Review Blog

Feb 23 2017

Cast iron by Peter May

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Hachette, 2017. ISBN 9781784299774
(Age: Senior secondary-adult) Highly recommended. Crime, Thriller, Cold case. Forensic expert, Enzo Macleod opens a can of worms as he investigates the second to last murder in a book of unsolved crimes, published by the journalist, Raffin. A girl's body was found on the edge of a lake some years ago when a widespread drought caused the lake to shrink. The girl had been murdered fourteen years before, and it is her murder, that Enzo is to reinvestigate, one of the unsolved crimes listed in Raffin's book, and the subject of a bet between the two men. But he is ambushed at her parent's house by another group of parents, called the Bordeaux Six, who are also keen to find out what happened to their daughters. Enzo is unwilling to take on their cases, as he sees them as insoluble, but when his daughter and her partner are kidnapped, things change.
The Bordeaux Six remain a constant thread within the story, leading Enzo and Dominique to the hiding place of one of the missing girls, hidden within plain sight.
I have not read the previous Enzo stories so felt a little disadvantaged, but the story was enough to tempt me to continue reading and eventually find out just whose cast iron alibi would crack.
Set in southern France the feel of the area is decidedly real, with chateaux, villages, forests and motorways in the background. Enzo picks away at his investigations, uncovering details left unsaid, stories left unreported and things hidden from the original investigations. He visits a murderer in prison, the man jailed for killing some of the other girls, but this only adds to another thread in his detailed investigation.
There are leads all over the place, connections and secrets unwilling to be revealed. May cleverly insinuates people around Enzo, even his daughter's lover, causing them to come under suspicion, so the reader will like me be mesmerised until the truth is revealed at the end.
Fran Knight

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