It certainly takes the story to another level; significantly darker, more troubled and even more morally ambivalent, but also with a glimmer of hope for the future enshrined in the final sentence quoted above. Once again, Superintendent Jean Lannes of the Police Judiciare or PJ is called in to investigate a puzzling murder and again finds his enquiries blocked by political interference from the highest levels of the Vichy Regime. The case is linked to his first investigation and, as before, he is ordered to drop it. The fact that, having solved the case, he finds himself further morally compromised by not being able to reveal the identity of the murderer only adds to his sense of frustration and alienation.
There are hints throughout this second book that there may well be a future reckoning to be paid for collaboration. But there is also the recognition that that freedom will inevitably bring revenge and retribution, and even Lannes pragmatically acknowledges that having one son in Vichy and another with De Gaulle may stand him in good stead when the fervently hoped-for but also dreaded liberation finally arrives.
Martin Vander Weyer
The novel closes with Lannes, taken in for interrogation by a Kordlinger furious at having been thwarted, turning the tables spectacularly on his tormentor. But that is some way in the future and the third part of this fascinating trilogy when it comes will presumably provide the clincher, with old scores being settled and all the characters forced to reappraise their position as free Frenchmen and women moving into an uncertain future tainted by the past.
I only hope that the wait for a final reconciliation will not prove to be as long drawn-out as that of the defeated French waiting for Liberation. To appreciate this tale fully it is helpful to have already read the same author's Death in Bordeaux. This begins where its predecessor ended. Many of the same characters appear and knowing the full back story is undeniably useful.
They are recognisable people in a recognisable city. The portrait of Vichy France is as convincing as before. There is a murderer to be identified and that is done satisfactorily.
Martin Vander Weyer
But the author's pre-eminent ability is to place his characters in situations that challe To appreciate this tale fully it is helpful to have already read the same author's Death in Bordeaux. But the author's pre-eminent ability is to place his characters in situations that challenge their principles, situations where the choice may be only between bad and less bad.
Ambivalence permeates the pages. Allan Massie offers no comfortable conclusions but draws the reader inexorably towards the final book in the trilogy. Dec 09, Alison Evans rated it it was amazing. The second book in the trilogy. Jean Lannes' elder son returns, pale and thin, but alive. He believes in the Vichy regime, and goes to work for them. Meanwhile, the younger son decides to escape occupied France with a couple of friends, one a Jew, and Lannes assists them in this.
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His wife is not told until after they have left, for which she will never forgive Lannes. The Germans are now everywhere, and Lannes is not getting on well with some of his German superiors. This is even more gripping t The second book in the trilogy. This is even more gripping than the previous book.
Aug 18, Mark Ellis rated it liked it.
This is the second in the author's French WW2 detective series set in occupied Bordeaux. The bleak atmosphere of a city under Nazi rule is brilliantly conjured again as are the brutal moral conflicts of the time but I found the storyline confused and a little disappointing. It helps if you have read the first book as there is much referencing back. Despite my disappointment I would certainly read another in the series as I find this a fascinating place and period and the author writes, as always This is the second in the author's French WW2 detective series set in occupied Bordeaux.
Despite my disappointment I would certainly read another in the series as I find this a fascinating place and period and the author writes, as always, beautifully. Mar 08, Michael Cayley rated it it was amazing Shelves: general-fiction. At one level it is a crime novel, but, as in its predecessor, the real subject is what loyalty and integrity mean in circumstances where there are no easy answers. Bordeaux is under German occupation, and the central character, a police officer, has to find ways of adjusting to that. The portrayal of the main characters is superb, as is the conveying of the atmosphere of an occupied city.
Thoroughly recommended. Jul 14, Julian King rated it liked it. It's good to read a proper novel for a change - and Massie evokes Vichy France of so vividly that this is a melancholy joy to read. The murder is largely irrelevant, although it lends the story a certain structure; the main business, though, concerns the blackmail of a German officer and the awakenings in various ways of various of the younger generation of characters.
The book ends with a sort of cliffhanger - and I was compelled to crack open the sequel Cold Winter Sep 13, Callum Clement rated it really liked it.
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Sep 16, John rated it really liked it. Waiting for the next installment Mar 29, Tessa rated it really liked it. Another excellent read set in France under the occupation protagonist Superintendent Lannes. I look forward to the third book of the trilogy. Mar 10, Bill R added it.
While this is told like a whodunit it's really a story about a good cop dealing with the struggle of working and living in wartime occupied France Mar 04, Lorna rated it it was amazing. Based this judgement on enjoyment.
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A good literate book and easily read set in France at a fascinating historical time. Loved it and am waiting for the third book impatiently. Richard Finston rated it it was amazing May 09, Ross rated it really liked it Feb 28, Carol Deveney rated it it was amazing Dec 08, Alan Scott rated it really liked it Apr 07, Cath Smith rated it it was amazing Jul 10, Alun D Morgan rated it really liked it Jan 28, Robert Williams rated it really liked it Jul 23, Paul Smyth rated it liked it Jul 31, Studvet rated it it was amazing Aug 08, Amanda Welsh rated it really liked it Aug 05, Irene rated it really liked it Aug 21, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
About Allan Massie. Allan Massie. I look forward eagerly to volume two' --Robert Harris 'Massie's evocation of France on the brink of the invasion is vivid and convincing, and this fine novel, set in a period of moral turmoil, introduces a humane and memorable detective' --Joan Smith, Sunday Times About the Author : Allan Massie is the author of twenty novels including the critically acclaimed World War II trilogy: A Question of Loyalties, The Sins of the Father, and Shadows of Empire. Buy New Learn more about this copy. About AbeBooks.
Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Dark Summer in Bordeaux Allan Massie. Published by Quartet Books New Paperback Quantity Available: 1. Revaluation Books Exeter, United Kingdom.
Seller Rating:. Published by Quartet Books UK New Softcover Quantity Available: 1. Dark Summer in Bordeaux Massie, Allan. New Paperback Quantity Available: 2.