Published 9th April 2015 by Pan Macmillan
Phnom Penh, Cambodia; the rainy season. When a French man, Hugo Quercy, is found brutally murdered, Commandant Serge Morel finds his holiday drawn to an abrupt halt. Quercy – dynamic, well-connected – was the magnetic head of a humanitarian organisation which looked after the area’s neglected youth.
Opening his investigation, the Parisian detective soon finds himself buried in one of his most challenging cases yet. Morel must navigate this complex and politically sensitive crime in a country with few forensic resources, and armed with little more than a series of perplexing questions: what was Quercy doing in a hotel room under a false name? What is the significance of his recent investigations into land grabs in the area? And who could have broken into his home the night of the murder?
Becoming increasingly drawn into Quercy’s circle of family and friends – his adoring widow, his devoted friends and bereft colleagues – Commandant Morel will soon discover that in this lush land of great beauty and immense darkness, nothing is quite as it seems . . .
A deeply atmospheric crime novel that bristles with truth and deception, secrets and lies: Death in the Rainy Season is a compelling mystery that unravels an exquisitely wrought human tragedy.
This is Anna Jaquiery’s second novel featuring Serge Morel and it was my introduction to a new author. And I thought it was beautiful, different and oddly familiar.
I adore a crime novel, that takes me out of my comfort zone. Jaquiery expertly sets ‘Death in the Rainy Season’ in Cambodia and the ex-pat community. If you have ever been there or to countries near-by like Thailand, you will instantly recognise the way it is described. From the first page, there is a strong welcoming sense of Asia, with the humidity and rain. I absolutely appreciated that.
I loved the sense of history, as we get to know a little about Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. I was fascinated by this and ended up researching online.
There is a murder of a French man in the ex-pat community. Serge Morel, a French national/half Cambodian and detective on holiday, is asked to assist in the murder investigation. He quickly finds out that he will have to solve the crime, with little in the way of help from the Cambodians and with a lot of the physical evidence missing.
I found the whole book absolutely wonderful. It made me long to be there. I was drawn to Morel and his intriguing life in France. All of the characters were so well done and the plot felt nicely old fashioned.
As this is the second book featuring Morel, I will definitely be getting hold of the first one. A fantastic introduction to Anna Jaquiery for me. And one that everyone should read for a unique taste of Asia.
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy!