Alex by Pierre Lemaitre, translated from French by Frank Wynne



This is a definite 5* review.

Alex has been kidnapped, seemingly at random.  Her abductor has stripped her, beaten and tortured her and put her in a cage in an abandoned warehouse.  He is a brutal man, set on revenge, he has plans to simply watch her die.  Will he succeed or will fate have a hand to play ?

Who will save her when no-one knows that she is missing.  Her time is running out. She is an unknown person, who never seems to stay anywhere very long.  Those that are aware of her have conflicting details about her.

As the story unfolds we are introduced to several memorable characters.  Each one unique and very memorable, they have expertly crafted and as you read about them, you can easily visualise each one.  This book is gripping from the start, it is brutal, gritty, unpredictable and at times not for the faint hearted.  Lemaitre has not held back on his descriptions.  AS the plot unfolds it becomes obvious that there is more to this story than you first think.

There is a phrase that comes up a lot about, not judging a book by its cover, I chose this book because the cover was eye-catching, and the blurb was very simple and brief.  When you enter the book it takes you into a world of pain, suffering, bitterness, hate, intrigue and suspense.  People are not who they first appear to be.

This is a must read for people who like dark, tough gritty murder / crime books.

No surprise that this book won the CWA International Dagger award.  It is part of the “Brigade Criminelle Trilogy” and is the second in the series.  Reading order is Irene, Alex, Camille.  I will be buying the other two books and reading them very soon.


In kidnapping cases, the first few hours are crucial. After that, the chances of being found alive go from slim to nearly none. Alex Prevost – beautiful, resourceful, tough – may be no ordinary victim, but her time is running out. Commandant Camille Verhoven and his detectives have nothing to go on: no suspect, no lead, rapidly diminishing hope. All they know is that a girl was snatched off the streets of Paris and bundled into a white van. The enigma that is the fate of Alex will keep Verh/ven guessing until the bitter, bitter end. And before long, saving her life will be the least of his worries. The bestselling second book in the Brigade Criminelle Trilogy and the winner of the CWA International Dagger Award 2013.


Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 7th 2016 by MacLehose Press (first published January 1st 2011)