It’s very difficult to explain the plot of ‘Pierre Lemaitre’s Alex’ without giving away too much. We open with the kidnapping and torture of a girl. The attempts of the police to track down this girl, with no evidence to show that a kidnapping has even taken place, help to start unravelling a web of lies, violence and deceit.
The book is split into three separate sections, each of which turns the story on its head and takes t in a completely new direction. It’s like solving a mystery within a mystery – each section throws up a new conundrum and completely changes our views on what has come before.
All of the characters are hiding secrets and our perceptions of different people shifted depending on the titbits of information that the author slowly released over the course of the novel. The pace moves along at a breakneck pace, shifting how we see characters with just a few short sentences and well-timed revelations.
The cast of police detectives is set up nicely for a series. There was a decent amount of back story around the characters included, probably for this reason, but for me, this took away from the main action too much. I was much too tempted to skim read my way through these sections.
Some people have commented on the violence being a bit much to stomach in parts – but I didn’t actually think it was that bad. The thing that makes this book more shocking than others in its genre is the excruciating minute details and the way that the author drags out the descriptions of the torture scenes.
Once I started reading this, I literally couldn’t put it down. It got its hooks in and it didn’t let go. If you like detective thrillers with a bit of an edge, this is the book for you.