The Lying-Down Room by Anna Jacquiery. Read March 2014.

“Paris; in the stifling August heat, Commandant Serge Morel is called to a disturbing crime scene. An elderly woman has been murdered to the soundtrack of Faure’s Requiem, her body then grotesquely displayed.”
The Lying-Down Room is a gripping literary crime novel that kept me engrossed from first page to last. It is not a comfortable read but the beautifully and intelligently written story transports the reader to the suffocating heat of a Parisian August, punctuated by flashbacks to disturbing events in the past.
Morel is an eccentric character – I have never before come across a detective whose hobby is origami for instance – and he leads a team of intriguing characters. I am hoping to find out more about the enigmatic Lila in future instalments in Anna Jaquiery’s Commandant Morel series, of which The Lying-Down Room is the first. Outside the investigation Morel leads an unconventional private life into which we are allowed some brief glimpses that leave us curious for more.
The various strands of the plot are interwoven brilliantly to produce a most satisfying reading experience that will stay with me long after finishing the book. As someone who reads a lot of crime fiction I welcomed this novel as genuinely different and would recommend it to anyone who likes a thought provoking read.
Thank you to the publisher, Mantle, for the advance review copy of the book.



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