I was intrigued by the idea of this book – a crime thriller set in Giverny, the home of Monet and his wonderful water-lily paintings. I visited the gardens once and they are beautiful (although we were constantly thwarted in our attempts to get really good photos by both the crowds and the elusive nature of the French sun) and we had a good wander around the village too. This helped make some of the scenes really come alive for me – particularly a funeral scene in local churchyard (and in the rain…) – although I don’t think it would matter if the nearest you’d ever come to a Monet was on a birthday card. This is a cracking good little thriller.
A body is found in the village of Giverny. Stabbed, head crushed with a rock and partly in the river and it is the job of a detective recently transferred from the South to find out who killed him. And why. We see the story from his point of view and from that of three women – Fanette, a ten year old art prodigy, Stephanie, a beautiful teacher with a very jealous husband, and an elderly woman who lives in an old watermill and watches over the whole village while being, in the way of old women, invisible to its inhabitants. I can’t even begin to explain how they are all connected because that would be an enormous spoiler but the connection is there. This is a very clever book, tightly plotted with lots of well-rounded characters and, after the success of his previous novel After The Crash, it looks as if Michel Bussi is going to become a writer to be reckoned with.