Death Set to Music by Mark Hebden

I was suggested this WordPress block editing mode multiple times during the past year or so but I was always afraid of the unknown. While playing with it prior to the writing of this post, I realised it may have the answer to some of the presentation I struggled to achieve previously! As always hindsight is more powerful. I do not think this particular post will have too much of any special ‘blocks’ but my compilation posts will definitely see an improvement.

This book was something that caught my eye solely because of the time and place where the story took place. It is based in France in the 1970s. The copy I read is a reprint, and I am glad I got a chance to read it. Inspector Pel is an intriguing character, short and brusque with his subordinates. He nonetheless has his lighter moments. He is almost scared of offending his landlady and is happy for some people on his team when things go well making him a study of contradictions.

The story is quite straightforward. A woman is found dead with music playing in the background. Even the mildest digging brings out the dirty laundries of all the key players, and nothing (by the end) will end up surprising us. This is a proper police procedural with a painstaking investigation into every avenue available. We are kept updated about all the findings, the guesses and all the interactions between the suspects (which includes almost everyone). The second in command is also an interesting caricature, a man who has a way with women, immune to the harshness of his superior as well as being someone who takes different roles in the team hierarchies based on the mood of the exact situation. Pel is not a very complex character or stand out in any extraordinary way except for his inner reflections which are quite heavy and even mildly melodramatic. Despite this (or maybe because of it), he was someone I found very realistic and therefore enjoyed reading this. It is a quick read, and I might pick the next one up given a choice.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based only on my reading experience.

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