I have to say that Frédérique Molay wouldn't have much luck if she first published her books in English. In that occasion the best she could wish for was for a small independent press to take her on. But, fortunately for her and for us, she writes in French, a language in which a crime novel doesn't have to be a door stopper to be popular.
Anyway, to the book at hand. “The City of Blood” is the third volume in the Paris Homicide series starring Chief of Police, Nico Sirsky. Nico is a living legend among his colleagues. His record at solving crimes is great, but what really makes him stand out is his humanity. He feels real sympathy for the victims and their loved ones and giving them closure is his number one priority.
The crime that he investigates this time is one that happened many years ago, but just came to light, under more than unusual circumstances. During the unveiling of a modern art project in a park the remains of a corpse are unearthed. How did they get there and who is the victim? Nobody seems to know the answers to these questions, but Nico is certain that he can find out the truth. And so the investigation begins. An investigation that will lead him and his team through the clouded paths of the past; a past that is more dark and full of secrets than one would expect.
There are no wild car chases or big thrills in this story. However, there is a great mystery at its heart that will keep the reader guessing from start to finish. Maybe the identity of the victim will come to light quite early, but that of the killer will remain secret almost until the very end.
I've read this book in just a day and the thing that I enjoyed the most during that time were the psychological portraits that the author built for her characters. Most of them are damaged goods, living in a past that is far gone, trying to create a future that will never come. The damage inflicted by that past on their souls is quite extended, and the only way to repair it is to come to terms with it, by knowing the truth that for so many years evaded them. However, as expected, not all can let sleeping ghosts lie. Some wounds heal, others don't, but at the end of the day what really matters is delivering justice, and that Sirksy does, in a story that the fans of quality crime fiction will surely enjoy.