Death in the Rainy Season – Anna Jaquiery

Published 9th April 2015 by Pan Macmillan

death rainy

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.

My thoughts

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!

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13 Responses to Death in the Rainy Season – Anna Jaquiery

  1. crimeworm says:

    Great review – mine is nearly finished; I’ve only been working on it for a week or so! You’d think it was War and Peace I was writing – or reviewing! Well, to be fair I have been working on other reviews too, while ideas are fresh in my head. I found Inspector Morel quite hard to get to know, but I’m hoping when I read The Lying Down Room – already got it! – I’ll learn more about him and his team – his female sidekick seemed quite a character! I think this could be another series we have to follow! Btw, Anya Lipska – good, yes?

    • Christine says:

      Yay!!! I bet your review is GREAT for having all that extra time. I was looking on Amazon at The Lying Down Room to stick on my kindle…. Anya Lipska – Polish subculture and clever writing. I loved both books and I think there is another one coming out soonish.

      • crimeworm says:

        I MUST get up to speed on her. Plus I’m still catching up on the wonderful Eva Dolan! I’ve been eyeing up What She Left – I’m such a copycat! – It does look interesting, I don’t know how I missed it! I’ve so many books to read and review, some for other sites, and obviously they’re more important than my own as I hate letting people down! Btw, did you get that new Peter James at all?? And, no, I don’t think my review will be ANY better – yours is excellent – concise, you say what you need to say. I think the fact it was an ex-pat murder meant we missed out on seeing some of what Cambodia was like to live in for average Cambodians (but then he wouldn’t have been involved…but even a Cambodian hit man would let us see more of it!) The statistics of the family members that other policeman lost was horrendous. I’ve never seen The Killing Fields but I should. By the way, how was your weekend? Do anything exciting?

      • Christine says:

        What She Left- I’ve just dashed off the review. It’s an interesting one because its so fragmented. I liked it for that. it seems to be a marmite one, looking at Goodreads.

        Nope I didn’t get the Peter James one. I wish! It is preordered though!

        I was thinking about Cambodia. I would love to read books actually with more of the culture in it. I’m very with you on that. I need to look out for some, if they exist.

        I’ve never seen the Killing Fields either, just heard about it by reputation. I must find a copy!

        My weekend was ok. Work and reading, and being tormented by the cat. Nothing too exciting! I’m still job hunting! How about you?

      • crimeworm says:

        Enjoying the (very warm) sun up here, plus reading, mostly – and dodging the housework, in order to spend more time outside! Rather dull, but it’s starting to get busy up here now. Lots of jobs up here for the summer – receptionist work, etc. It’s a pity you’re so far away! I’m just trying to make the most of this weather, it’s SO warm! I might have a look at the TR Richmond one the now! Re books with different cultures – I’ve got a Zoe Ferraris, I haven’t read it, but it’s set in Saudi Arabia, supposed to be excellent. Also there’s Parker Bilal, whose latest is set in Egypt – I’ve got one on Kindle, but not the new one. And Mike Nicol sets his in South Africa, as I think does Deon Meyer. And before the film comes out you should read Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, set in Russia. Fantastic book. A couple of weeks ago I got The Killing Winter by Tom Callaghan to review; it’s set in Kyrgyzstan. Similar story to Child 44 – suspicious child murder, he’s told to shut it down by his superiors, which makes him more suspicious and determined and puts him in danger; important people with lots to lose may be involved….I’m really looking forward to it – and The Abrupt Physics Of Dying is set in Yemen!

  2. Christine says:

    Yeah such a shame. Least I am in some work for now… I’ve read the Zoe Ferraris series and am waiting for her to write another. You’d like her books. And Tom Rob Smith I’ve read all of his. I will have to look up the others. They sound pretty good.

  3. Pingback: The Lying Down Room – Anna Jaquiery | northerncrime

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