DEATH IN BORDEAUX
the spring of 1940, the mutilated body of a homosexual is discovered in
a street near the Bordeaux railway station. It looks like a
straight-forward sex crime, but when Superintendent Lannes is warned
off the investigation, his suspicion that there is a political motive
for the murder seems justified. In defiance of authority, he
continues working on the case. And then another body is
the Superintendent has other troubles. His eldest son, Dominique, is at
the Front, his wife, Marguerite, is depressed, and when the Battle of
France breaks out, Bordeaux is filled with refugees fleeing the war.
Suddenly civilian crime seems of little importance compared to the
chaos that ensues.
As Bordeaux becomes an
occupied city, Lannes’ chief suspect is untouchable, protected by a
relative in the Vichy government. Lannes himself is threatened with
blackmail on account of his Jewish friends and Dominique is taken
prisoner. Common sense should make Lannes abandon the
investigation, but honour and a natural obstinacy lead him to pursue
it. However, as events turn increasingly bleak, Lannes begins to doubt
it can ever be solved...
Death in Bordeaux
is the first in a trilogy which will take Lannes through the war and up
to the grisly, but inevitable purge of those found guilty of German
collaboration. However, Death
is also a novel that explores the moral complexity of France’s time of
trial, the horrors which afflicted France between 1940 and 1945, and
the reasons why it has taken the French people so long to emerge from
the shadow of war.