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Sandman Hardcover – November, 1997

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The premise of J. Robert Janes's mystery Sandman is both audacious and intriguing: the heroes of this dark novel set during World War II are Jean Louis St-Cyr, a French inspector with the Sûreté National, and Hermann Kohler, a German Gestapo agent. Set in Paris under the Vichy government, this novel's unlikely pair of heroes are doing their level best to solve a murder spree by a serial killer who has claimed his latest victim: an 11-year-old girl who might know him. Played out against the backdrop of war, betrayal, and fear, Sandman presents an unblinking view of cruelty and two strangely sympathetic officers of a corrupt government.

From Kirkus Reviews

Four schoolgirls have already been murdered when Jean-Louis St-Cyr and his Gestapo colleague Hermann Kohler are called to occupied Paris to investigate a fifth. But this time the crime scene reveals subtle and disturbing differences that make them wonder if this crime was really the Sandman's work after all. The girl who died in a birdcage in the Bois de Boulogne was stabbed by a knitting needle, but by a different-sized needle, and stabbed in a different place, than the first four. Although she's wearing the disordered clothing of munitions heiress N‚nette Vernet, the corpse is actually N‚nette's friend Andr‚e Noireau, orphaned when her parents went abroad on a visit to Coventry and never returned. As for N‚nette herself, she might as well be orphaned, since she's caught not only in the European war but in the more intimate battle between her bullying father and her scheming mother. Perhaps that's why she's disappeared, along with her companion, university student Liline Chambert. Or perhaps her disappearance is connected to the traces of SS involvement--from the presence of the Kommandant of Paris in the birdcage within minutes of the murder to the commerce at a nearby Germans-only brothel to the vile paintings of a sentimental Attack Leader that St-Cyr and Kohler keep tripping over no matter how hard they try to overlook them. As elliptical and understated as any of Louis and Hermann's cases (Stonekiller, p. 592, etc.), though its crescendo of ugly secrets marks it as one of their most searching. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Press; 1st U.S. ed edition (November 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569471061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569471067
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,376,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Dr. K. Feig: We are finally getting the Janes' series in the US. His French detective/"warm fuzzy" Gestapo agent team is a tour de force. Someone's review of his other book in English in this series elicited the following bit: "writing talents--in plot, character, dialogue and sheer command of language--are sadly lacking." Well - Okay, if you want to apply an American cultural analysis. But the setting is murky Vichy France during WWII under the nasty German occupation. Not only is the plot intriguing, the characters well drawn, the writing intelligent, the suspense sustained. But the real benefit is the impeccable historical accuracy, the description of the social and cultural forces, and the terrible realities of occupation. It is a great read - and one learns and understands - and shrinks in alarm not only from the story but the reality of the time and environment in which it occurs. Let's get the rest of the books translated!!!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is superbly conceived, well plotted, and (unfortunately) not very well written. The constant use of the interjection "Ah" and punctuation with never-varying oaths put the reader off. Also, the writer should forswear forever the use of German; his attempts at it are truly atrocious. But with all that, I found the book a good read; the plot carries the reader along and the solution is satisfying. Recommended, with reservations. Dave Appling
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a difference in how American & European authors tell a story. Good American storytellers seem to be more direct in their plotline, connecting all of the dots & explaining, in the context of the story, what may seem at the outset extraneous characters or incidents. Good European authors aren't that regimented. And so it is with J. Robert James & "Sandman." I felt there were significant leaps of faith in the progress of the storyline & in the connecting of people/things to the crime under investigation. Regardless, the story was great & I enjoyed learning about the 2 detectives. This is my first St. Cyrn-Kohler novel. I'm looking forward to others in the near future.
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