They find the boy by the swimming pool, dolls floating on its surface.
Inside the house, his teacher lies dead.
But he claims to remember nothing...
June 2010. In the middle of a World Cup match, Martin Servaz receives a call from a long-lost lover. A few miles away in the town of Marsac, Classics professor Claire Diemar has been brutally murdered.
As if that weren't disturbing enough, Servaz receives a cryptic e-mail indicating that Julian Hirtmann, the most twisted of all serial killers, is back…and hitting a little too close to home. With death and chaos surrounding the small university town in Southern France where he was once a student and where his daughter is now enrolled, Servaz must act quickly.
With the help of detectives Irene Ziegler and Esperandieu, Servaz will have to uncover a world of betrayal and depravity to connect the dots between these gruesome murders that keep re-opening wounds from his past. After the success of The Frozen Dead, Bernard Minier plunges readers once again into a perfectly constructed, dark and oppressive atmosphere, driven foreward by a gripping plot, pushing the limits of the genre.
Dolls float on the surface of a swimming pool. A young man dangles his legs in the water, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings. In the house adjoining the pool, a woman lies drowned in a large, old-fashioned bathtub, her body tightly bound by rope and a small flashlight rammed down her throat. French author Minier's second psychological whodunit featuring Commandant Martin Servaz (after 2014's The Frozen Dead) shows his mastery of the creepy setup. Servaz, who has been following the 2010 World Cup with his Toulouse crime squad team, is alerted to the bizarre poolside scene by an old love, Marianne Bokhanowsky. Marianne's 17-year-old son, Hugo, is the prime suspect in the slaying of Claire Diemar, a teacher of Hugo's with a doll obsession, and she implores Servaz for help in proving his innocence. Meanwhile, another figure from Servaz's past resurfaces, Julian Hirtmann. The Hannibal Lecter like genius serial killer, who shares Servaz's taste for Mahler and remains at large, sends the detective taunting messages. The Russian nesting doll of a plot is perfectly executed and delivers two genuine gut punches at the end.