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Shelf Awareness: "A gripping and surprising historical mystery in which knowing who committed the murder is only the beginning."

Date: Apr 15 2014

The addictive mystery in The Cemetery of Swallows has nothing to do with who committed the murder. Manuel Gemoni is a devoted father and husband, a man so gentle and centered he was nicknamed "Little Gandhi" as a boy. But with no warning, he leaves his wife and daughter back home in Paris, flies to the Dominican Republic and calmly murders Tobias Darbier, an elderly man whom he has never met before. After shooting Tobias twice, Manuel pauses before firing the bullets that will end his life. "Time stops. Seconds rub their black paws together." Manuel pulls the trigger, and so begins a sinister and terrifying journey.

Legendary police superintendent Amédée Mallock travels from his home in Paris to the jungles of the Dominican Republic, but his investigation of Manuel's crime keeps stalling as he descends deeper into disturbing realms that defy categorization. The drama swirls around Mallock's paradoxical character, at once empathetic and misanthropic. The persistence and insight that made him famous force him to pursue a line of inquiry that will shake the very foundations of his professional and personal identity.

Writing under the pseudonym of his story's hero, Jean-Denis Bruet-Ferreol leads us across the globe and back and forth through time, punctuating his dark tale with moments of humor as well as moments of staggering brutality. The Cemetery of Swallows combines the straightforward tone and quick pacing of a police procedural with a conjectural curiosity that challenges the boundary between life and death. --Casey O'Neil, bookseller, Elliott Bay Book Company

Discover: A gripping and surprising historical mystery in which knowing who committed the murder is only the beginning.

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