My review is now live over at Eurocrime. I loved this book to bits. 2013 is turning into one of the best years in recent memory for great crime novels. Belinda Bauer's Rubbernecker is a superb book by any standards. Poppet by Mo Hayder is an instant classic: gothic, terrifying and with a depth of compassion that makes it easily the best book she's ever written. Vargas, too, has surpassed herself with this new Adamsberg novel.
Vargas breaks every rule ... You can't empathise with these characters; they're simply too strange. You don't recognise yourself or loved ones, or anyone, in these pages. Vargas doesn't manipulate your emotions in any conventional way, shape or form. She simply writes astoundingly differently. She dares to write this way, jumping from character to character across the page like one of the fleas in that filthy pigeon, inviting you to keep pace with her unruliness, her droll voice, her poetry. And it is anarchy on her part. Joyful, disturbing anarchy. Because who else is daring to break these rules, and doing it with such panache?