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Malniveau Prison (The Twenty-Year Death Trilogy Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 8, 2014
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"This is a smart, audacious, finely-honed work of fiction." - Five Leaves Book Shop
About the Author
A long-time bookseller at The Corner Bookstore in New York City and Borders in Baltimore, Ariel S. Winter is also the author of the forthcoming children's picture book One of a Kind (Aladdin) and of the blog We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie, devoted to the rediscovery of long-forgotten children's books written by literary icons such as John Updike, Langston Hughes, and Gertrude Stein. His writing has appeared in The Urbanite and on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and in 2008 he won the Free Press "Who Can Save Us Now?" short story contest. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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The book opens in the French village of Verargent, with the discovery of a body lying dead in the street, a local baker having come upon the corpse while walking home after work during a deluge. The investigation falls to Chief Inspector Pelleter and the local chief of police, Letreau. The novel unwinds over a period of less than a month, with the case getting more and more curious. And it begins and ends in the nearby eponymous prison, where Pelleter has been called, after a fashion, by a sadistic murderer incarcerated there for several years, Mahossier, who has in the past given him information leading to the inspector being able to close theretofore unsolved cases. Further investigation uncovers the fact that the dead man had been a prisoner at Malniveau, and had been murdered. As things proceed, there are several more dead bodies discovered, and two young boys go missing, as well as a young woman, the French wife of the American author mentioned above.
Pelleter has his work cut out for him, it would seem. He muses: “He knew what had happened in many instances, but he did not know why or how, and therefore he did not know who. He knew nothing.” Although newly written, this is a classic noir procedural, and it is recommended.