(Poisoned Pen, $24.95; release date November, 2006)

Posted by Anneli Rufus at 6:46 am, Monday, June 12, 2006

An apparent ritual slaughter in an historic Parisian church, with gory bits scattered around the altar, blood seeping into the fifteenth-century stone and a hunky but deep and emotionally vulnerable forensic sleuth scouring the scene ten years later for clues — so is there a new wave of Catholic-France-related murder mysteries or what? May paces his tale of a burst-open cold case with teasingly professional precision, languishing over the occasional glut of visual detail (“a tall, thin man with longish brown hair swept back to the upturned collar of his white shirt … carried a light summer jacket carelessly across his shoulder, and his trousers, belted at a slim waist, were immaculately creased, gathering in fashionable folds around neat, black leather Italian shoes”). Before this book, Glasgow-born May wrote a series of forensic thrillers based in China. Before that, he created, wrote and produced TV shows for the BBC and ITV, racking up a thousand credits in fifteen years. One of his shows, the early-’90s soap opera Machair, was in Gaelic.

Grade: B+

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