THE FROZEN DEAD by Bernard Minier

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Commandant Servaz is a top-notch investigator for the city of Toulouse, France, at the foot of the Pyrenees, who relies more on his gut than on science. Servaz is annoyed when he is called away from an investigation to a new crime scene at the hydroelectric plant of Arruns, so high above sea level that the only way to reach it is by cable car.

A body is hung on the upper deck, stripped and beheaded. However, it is not a human body, but rather a thoroughbred horse hung high above the Pyrenees. This disturbing scene only gets more disturbing when the DNA of an inmate at Institute Wargnier, the nearby psychiatric prison, is found on the horse.

This case gets priority as the horse belonged to Eric Lombard, CEO of a multinational company and member of a very influential family with strong political ties to the area.

In a parallel story, Diane Berg, a new psychologist, has arrived at the Institute Wargnier and is not entirely welcome, especially as she finds many inconsistencies and flagrant mistreatment of the prisoners.

The pervasiveness of evil makes for very compelling reading, with the suspense bordering on horror. It is a very tense and disturbing story coupled with interesting and well developed characters, and is a true page turner. Translated from the French. Should appeal to readers who enjoyed Pierre Lemaitre’s Alex or like Scandinavian thrillers.

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8/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier. Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 12, 2014). ISBN 978-1250045539. 496p.

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