The Lying Down Room – Anna Jaquiery

Published in paperback 9 April 2015 by Pan

lying down cover

Paris; in the stifling August heat, Commandant Serge Morel is called to a disturbing crime scene. An elderly woman has been murdered.

At first, this strange case seems to offer few clues; but as more victims are targeted, Morel finds his enquiries leading him back into the past, from the French countryside to Soviet Russia – and to two young boys with the most haunting of stories to tell . . .

An evocative, gripping crime novel with an aching heart: The Lying-Down Room is the first novel in Anna Jaquiery’s Commandant Morel series.

Book 2 is reviewed here: Death in the Rainy Season 

My thoughts 

Beautifully written, The Lying Down Room is the first in the Commandant Morel series.

I read Death in the Rainy Season and I longed for a little more Morel. Morel is introduced in The Lying Down Room. Set in Paris, we get a real sense of the hot, sultry Parisian atmosphere and a quirky detective in Morel. Morel is on the case of a murderer, who is brutally killing elderly widows and leaving them displayed in their beds.

Morel is a fascinating flawed lead, with an unconventional personal life. He lives with his father, whose health is deteriorating, with periods of confusion and erratic behaviour. Morel has a married mistress, as well as an unhealthy obsession with a lover from his past. He may be a bit of a mess; but professionally he is sharp and good at seeing through lies. It is teamed with sidekick, Lila.

This is a crime read to just savour and read at leisure. With religious overtones, forbidden sex and links to Russia, the story moves between the past and the present. Slowly we start to understand the prime suspect. The beauty of this novel is that we truly get to know Morel and his life in Paris, as much as solving the mystery of the murders.

An enthralling introduction to the lovely Morel. I fell a little bit more in love with him. Anna Jaquiery brings the magic of urban Paris to life, giving it a dark subtle twist. I hope for more of Morel.

About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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3 Responses to The Lying Down Room – Anna Jaquiery

  1. Sounds like a great read and Morel sounds intriguing!

  2. This sounds like just my cup of tea. Added to my list. X

  3. TripFiction says:

    I have read both, and I think overall I was more taken with Death in the Rainy Season because of the steamy location (sultry, hot, steamy) – but both are excellent crime novels and the author deserves a wider audience. Thanks for sharing your review!

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