EXCERPT: They were startled by a noise resembling the striking of a matchstick: the burner on the gas furnace had just lit up. Victor released his breath, wiped his forehead with the back of his hand, and opened the door at the far end of the workshop.
The beam of his flashlight slid across the room, and a cry froze in his throat. An odour of death and offal hung in the air. The body of a man in his underwear lay in a puddle of blood and excrement.
The detective sergeant snapped a mental image of the scene: the corpse was lying face up, arms crossed. Brownish wounds were visible on the diaphanous skin of the throat and chest. The wrists bore purple bruises, and the cracked dry lips had split open in several places.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: When an eccentric homeless man jumps to his death in Old Montreal, the police discover two wallets in his possession: those of a retired psychiatrist who was recently murdered in a bizarre ritual and a powerful corporate lawyer who has vanished. As police detective Victor Lessard and his partner, Jacinthe Taillon, work to solve the separate mysteries, a dark history begins to emerge.
While the pressure builds and the bodies accumulate, dark and disturbing secrets come to light about a pivotal moment in Quebec’s history. But will Lessard and Taillon crack the case in time to prevent the killer from striking again?
MY THOUGHTS: It’s complicated . . .
I am unsure why a publisher would choose to start translating a series with the third book. I know that some series are easy to pick up part way through. This isn’t one of them.
The plot is complex. The characters are complex, and there are a lot of them. It took me a long time to settle into this book, and even then, I managed to lose my way a couple of times and had to go back and reread things. There are frequent references to past cases, past events, past history.
Victor Lessard is an alcoholic (not drinking, but once an alcoholic…) suffers from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and tends to vomit at the sight of a body. There is a lot of vomiting takes place. His partner, Jacinthe Taillon, is obsessed with food and only trusts Lessard to a certain point. Not an easy working relationship. She is rude, insensitive and brings nothing to the story other than her ability to break down doors.
If you are a fan of conspiracy theories, you will love this book. It covers a lot of historical ground, from CIA funded experiments into mind control using drugs and other even more barbaric methods to the assassination of President John Kennedy.
This was definitely an interesting read, but as I said, it is complicated. Would I read more in this series? That would depend on being able to start from the beginning.
‘Evil creeps. Evil prowls. It insinuates itself into the soul’s blank spaces. And sometimes, for no apparent reason, when you’re sure it’s busy elsewhere, it catches your scent of ashes on the cold air, turns from its path and follows you.’
‘By deinstitutionalizing the mentally ill, we’ve put all our eggs in one basket. We’ve gone from one extreme to the other. It’s gotten to the point where most people who need custodial care are now on the streets.’
‘Once a mistake is made, there’s no going back to unmake it.’
‘Unlike the movies, where there’s always a ruthless logic behind every action, reality can be disappointing and disturbing.’
THE AUTHOR: Born in 1970, Martin Michaud is a musician, novelist and screenwriter. He worked as a business lawyer for twenty years before devoting himself to writing full-time in 2012.
His novels have gained a wide readership in Quebec and Europe, winning numerous literary prizes. He is hailed by critics as “the master of the Quebec thriller.”
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Dundurn Press via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Never Forget by Martin Michaud for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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