Summertime, all the cats are bored by Philippe Georget

cover image

Translated by Steven Rendall. Gilles Sebag bk 1. Europa, 2013. ISBN 9781609451219
(Age: Senior secondary-Adult) Recommended. Mystery. Detectives. France. SNCF Crime Fiction Prize, City of Lens First Crime Novel Prize. Translated from the French language. When a young Dutch woman is found murdered near a campground, and another is kidnapped, Inspector Gilles Sebag is set the task of finding the perpetrators. He finds himself in the middle of a deadly game, where the kidnapper sends the police clues and asks for him by name.
This is an intriguing crime story made particularly interesting as it has quite a few mysteries for Sebag and an enterprising reader to solve. First of all who murdered the young Dutch woman and what is her relationship to the old widow, Robert, who found her body? Then who is the clever person who has kidnapped the unfortunate young woman and keeps her imprisoned? And then too, is Sebag's wife having an affair or not? Sebag appears to be disillusioned with his job, often arriving late to work and content to have had his career put on hold because of something he had done in his early years in the police force. However, he is clever and once he decides to really investigate, is a determined yet flawed detective.
Set on the French Mediterranean, the author vividly describes the French countryside and the lifestyle that Sebag and his family have in a way that makes the reader feel as if the place is familiar. Family relationships also play an important part in the story. Sebag feels he is losing grip of his children as they go their separate ways for the summer holidays, and his wife has chosen to take a Mediterranean cruise without him.
Well-paced, exciting and often frightening, this is well worth the read for mystery lovers and I will be sure to hunt up the second in the series, Autumn, all the cats return.
Pat Pledger