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Crimes of Winter: An Inspector Sebag Mystery Paperback – May 9, 2017
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Praise for Crimes of Winter
"The third installment from Georget (Autumn, All the Cats Return, 2014, etc.) dives deeper into character than most traditional detective yarns and is written with wit, poignancy, and panache."
"Reading Crimes of Winter is particularly enjoyable because of its entertaining cast of oddball characters, but at the same time the author schools the reader in the differences between French and American policing."
—Betty Webb, Mystery Scene Magazine
"Fans of French settings will enjoy venturing outside of Paris, and the year-end holiday provides an additional measure of atmosphere to the crimes and solutions here."
Praise for Georget's Inspector Sebag Mysteries
"Georget provides great details along with a pace that lets the reader soak up those late-night swims and wine-soaked dinners in the end-of-summer Mediterranean heat."
"Savor the Gallic charm of this sizeable case for Inspector Sebag."
"Perfect deckchair entertainment."
—The Daily Mail
"Multilayered and satisfying."
About the Author
Philippe Georget was born in 1962. He works as a TV news anchorman for France-3. A passionate traveler, in 2001 he traveled the entire length of the Mediterranean shoreline with his wife and their three children in an RV. He lives in Perpignan. Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored, his debut novel, won the SNCF Crime Fiction Prize and the City of Lens First Crime Novel Prize.
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Top customer reviews
But it is an interesting story with an unusual plot, eerily similar to a recent case in Massachusetts where a young woman was found guilty of assisting in the suicide of a friend by encouraging him over the phone. The characters are many, interesting and well developed; they will be easily remembered by the reader from one book in the series to the next. The writing is well-done. It's a whodunit that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. And lots of interesting food and wine of course. Our protagonist is caught up in his own infidelity situation so as his teammates struggle to understand motivations for the case under investigation, Gilles is also attempting to resolve his own personal case and understand it. Perpignan is a real city with real places and street names so the reader can have a close look via Google Maps, Bing Images, etc. I also enjoyed the scenes involving the video camera center where a small city security force controlled the operations.
But it's not without some negatives, mostly minor things. Annoyances. Some of the dialog feels like its copied from American film noir of the 1940's. "My name is Sebag. Gilles Sebag." "Whatever you say, copper." Copper? Copper? And there's: "Bring him to me here right now and I'll make him talk". C'mon, nobody talks like that anymore since George Raft died in 1980. And then there are those wonderful little pearls of wisdom that only the French can toss out. Here's my favorite: "love without sexual exclusivity was perhaps true love"... What?! Says who? Explain that to me.....at least that was my reaction, but as I recall characters in this story just accepted the little maxim as gospel. And as a final example, can you really hear someone gulp?
But there is one significant flaw for me - I don't like Sebag. He goes on and on about his own problem to the point where it bored me. He was just too annoying for me, and not in an endearing way. I wanted to belt him in the chops and scream "Man up!" Admittedly though I'm glad I read "Crimes of Winter" and I recommend it as something "typically French", my perception. I won't read other Sebag novels.
In any case, each one is a super character driven story with a complicated plot. So much so that this was the first one I took notes on to try and figure out the solution myself. So, I was wrong. But it was an intriguing path from the initial crime to the denouement.
Sebag is not the bumbling detective you often read of, nor is he the know-it-all expert, two types that seem to fill mystery novels. Instead, he's filled with angst and depression and has started drinking heavily because of recent news about his wife (saving you a spoiler alert). He's flawed, he's moody, he's competitive (a bit pissy at times), and is completely unpredictable at when he works. That's probably because I'm not acquainted with French workdays, but it appears they start late and work into the night regularly.
In this one, his children don't figure in much at all, and his wife a great deal. But even though she does, I feel like I learned less about her despite more of her. She's just not as interesting as Sebag is. He shows her completely apart from her "life", such as her work, friends, etc. On Sebag we learn every single detail, but on her, we really know little. And that's okay because so far she's pretty shallow.
He's emotionally fragile and doesn't always get it right with his calculations, but it's more the dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"'s that solves the case. The fact that much of the plot parallels his own life (almost to an overdone degree) makes him a little more sloppy this go around.
I stayed up late in the night to finish this and was pleased with the journey. Can't wait to see more.
Also, I believe (not positive) that he wrote Monsieur Linh and His Child, which was not a mystery but one of the most intense novels I've ever read...painful and sharp. It's not to miss.