To Die in Provence
Norman Bogner's first thriller in 15 years is the grisly, noir side of Peter Mayle's sweet books about Provence (A Year in Provence, Chasing Cezanne, Hotel Pastis). Bogner offers a spooky evocation of the horror that can live alongside all that great food and scenery. We first find top copper Michel Danton recovering from shotgun wounds while working in his father's restaurant in Aix, where "fresh strings of Arles sausage and legs of jambon de Bayonne slyly waltzed on their hooks in the window." Michel's father is a tyrant, and his latest lady friend has just dumped him, so he's ready for a new case. Enter Darrell Vernon Boynton, a charming young psychopath called Boy by the women he conquers and the wealthy tourists he murders. Boy is a true descendant of Hannibal Lecter, and the only reason he hasn't eaten any of his victims is that the other food in Provence is too tempting. But be warned: not many other atrocities are beyond his imagination. As Bogner has proven in such previous blockbusters as Seventh Avenue and California Dreamers, he has the imagination to create nightmare landscapes in all manner of settings--and the writing skills to quickly make us a part of them. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Commander Michel Danton, descendant of bickering restaurateurs and the detective-hero of Seventh Avenue author Bogner's welcome return to fiction after a long hiatus, resides in a Provence that Peter Mayle would have trouble recognizing. Amid the well-documented bucolic splendor and pastis, there are laptops and lattes as well as a serial killer on the loose. It falls to Danton?newly broken up with his crime reporter girlfriend and under departmental suspension?to nose out the killer, who has just murdered two Americans in particularly grisly fashion. The villain is identified early to the reader as Boy, a native Oklahoman and former child porn star who's left a trail of misery wherever he's lived. Helping the forces of evil is Boy's girlfriend, dumb, vulnerable Maddie Gold, daughter of an entertainment mogul. Among the novel's standout strengths are a richly detailed setting, psychologically accurate character portrayals and an attractive and engaging hero?and there's enough stomach-churning carnage to satisfy even the most sanguinary tastes. True, whenever Maddie talks, Yogi Berra might advise readers to put blinders on their ears, but the other female?Danton's hot-tempered American love interest?makes up for it. Agent, Susan Crawford; editor, Natalia Aponte. (Sept.) FYI: Before he turned his hand to writing fiction, in the 1960s, Bogner was editorial manager at Jonathan Cape.Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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