An Enzo Macleod Mystery by Peter May
Review: Forensic scientist Enzo Macleod tackles the fourth of seven unsolved, cold case crimes when he travels to the Ile de Groix off the coast of Brittany, France, in Freeze Frame, the 4th mystery in this series by Peter May.
Adam Killian was murdered twenty years ago at his home on the island. Stricken with lung cancer, he only had a few weeks to live anyway. But before his death he called his daughter-in-law on the mainland, pleading with her that if he should die before his son, her husband, returned from a trip to Africa, that she preserve his study exactly as it was at the time of his death, that he would know what to do. In an a cruel twist of fate, Killian's son was killed in an accident returning to France. His wife, Jane, honored her father-in-law's wishes and sealed the room. At the time, the police investigating his murder botched the case against their prime suspect, the jury ultimately delivering a not guilty verdict … though everyone on the island seems to think he was guilty. Jane wants to sell the house but allows Enzo the opportunity one last chance to do what no one else has been able: to solve the murder of Adam Killian.
Freeze Frame is, to put it simply, an outstanding mystery, coupling the best aspects of a whodunit with those of a investigative procedural, a "little island mystery" as one of the residents puts it. The first few chapters serve as a historical amuse bouche, whetting the reader's appetite for the remarkable tale that follows. Here's a passage when Enzo first enters the room where Killian was killed:
He felt a strange thrill of anticipation, all his instincts on suddenly heightened alert. Here was the room where Killian had died. The room in which he had somehow created a message for his son, a message that the young man had never seen, and which had never been deciphered by anyone since. He laid his overnight bag down in the hall, and took three steps back in time to an early fall night in September, 1990.
The puzzle is intricate, the investigation and observational deductive reasoning by Enzo flawless.
The only minor drawback to the book is a subplot involving Enzo and his on-again / off-again relationship with Charlotte, who unexpectedly shows up on the island with "news". Though it weighs the story down, it fortunately doesn't consume too many pages, allowing Enzo (and the reader) to get back to solving this cold case, possibly the best of the series to date.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Freeze Frame for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9781590586044; ISBN-10: 1590586042
Location(s) referenced in Freeze Frame: France
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Freeze Frame by Peter May — An Enzo Macleod Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: March 2010
List Price: $24.95