George V. Reilly

Review: Dollmaker

Title: Dollmaker
Author: J. Robert Janes
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Soho Crime
Copyright: 1995
Pages: 272
Keywords: police procedural, WW II
Reading period: 2–7 January, 2016

Occupied France, January 1943. Detectives Jean-Louis St-Cyr and Hermann Kohler are sent to the German submarine base at Lorient in Brittany to in­ves­ti­gate a murder. The Gross-Admiral wants a quick resolution to the case since the prime suspect is a U-Boat captain known as the Dollmaker, whose crew are de­mor­al­ized after many months of punishing cruises and who won’t go back to sea without him.

St-Cyr and Kohler are unlikely partners, a Chief Inspector from the Sûreté in Paris and a longtime criminal policeman now in the Gestapo. Both are astute in­ves­ti­ga­tors but overworked and they struggle with a complex and confusing in­ves­ti­ga­tion where their presence is unwelcome. Janes evokes the strange­ness of the Breton landscape in winter among the ancient megaliths and the even stranger world of the Occupation.

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