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Mayhem (a.k.a., Mirage)

por J. Robert Janes

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A French inspector and Gestapo detective team up to fight crime in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II: "The offbeat pair gel . . . fast and convincing" (The Oxford Times).   Police inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr watches the German tanks roll into Paris from his office window. When Gestapo agents burst through his door, he is destroying confidential documents with the care that is his trademark. As the Nazis take control of the city, they allow St-Cyr to remain at his post, solving the everyday crimes which do not stop simply because there is a war on. He is assigned a partner, Bavarian detective Hermann Kohler, a bullish man who is as brutal as St-Cyr is refined. Though their politics differ, neither man is the sort to let a bad deed go unpunished.   Today their work takes them to a suburban forest, where a well-dressed young man has been found murdered and stripped of identification. Nearby lies an expensive beaded silk purse. Although it appears to be a crime of passion, its roots lie in the savagery that wartime nurtures and occupation lets run free.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente pordrakeg, bridgettrink1973, MeegsC, mportley, estragon73, Ardashir, vodelber
Bibliotecas LegadasEdward St. John Gorey
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WWII mystery. French detective and German detective try to work together. Interesting, a little hard to follow. I should try another of the series. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
J. Robert Janes is a Canadian author who has managed to create one of the more interesting detective duos among the many such pairs available in popular detective literature: a detective in the Paris police or sureté, Jean-Louis St. Cyr and a former Munich detective now in the Gestapo, Hermann Kolher. The two work as homicide detectives – after all even during the Occupation there were murders to be solved.

Mayhem is the first book in the series. As a persistent consumer of detective fiction, perhaps the most instructive things I can offer is to reveal that I am presently reading my third book in the series (Kaleidoscope after Carousel). Mayhem provides much of the back story you need to understand the protagonists and their developing relationship. St. Cyr is attempting to hold on to his dignity and his patriotism and is quite wary of Kohler. Fortunately, Kohler is a detective first and a Gestapo only several steps distant and not a Nazi at any step however far removed.

The relationship between St. Cyr and Kohler is evolving; the relationships between them and their bosses and between those bosses and the competing German and French security forces is, to say the very least, complicated. Lines of authority are constantly blurred as theses forces vie for superiority. Among the goals of the leaders are the accumulation of loot and the exercise of brutal power. This complexity is a primary strength of Janes’ writing that gives him a voice of vérité.

The clarity of his writing also suffers from this penchant for complexity. His stories are difficult to follow and are perhaps best appreciated like a Monet painting for the total picture they reveal.

I was thrilled to come across two more volumes (Sandman and Mannequin) in my favorite used bookstore, the Chequamegon Books in Washburn, Wisconsin. The Sandman attained recognition as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1997. I do recommend reading Mayhem first as it provides much of the background for the protagonists. ( )
1 vote dougwood57 | May 21, 2010 |
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Mayhem was initially published in the US in 1992 under the title "Mirage"
This book was initially published as "Mirage' in the US, and subsequently published as "Mayhem"
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A French inspector and Gestapo detective team up to fight crime in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II: "The offbeat pair gel . . . fast and convincing" (The Oxford Times).   Police inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr watches the German tanks roll into Paris from his office window. When Gestapo agents burst through his door, he is destroying confidential documents with the care that is his trademark. As the Nazis take control of the city, they allow St-Cyr to remain at his post, solving the everyday crimes which do not stop simply because there is a war on. He is assigned a partner, Bavarian detective Hermann Kohler, a bullish man who is as brutal as St-Cyr is refined. Though their politics differ, neither man is the sort to let a bad deed go unpunished.   Today their work takes them to a suburban forest, where a well-dressed young man has been found murdered and stripped of identification. Nearby lies an expensive beaded silk purse. Although it appears to be a crime of passion, its roots lie in the savagery that wartime nurtures and occupation lets run free.

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