BRED TO KILL by Franck Thilliez


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It’s been a year since Franck Sharko and Lucie Hennebelle were brought together in the strange and shocking investigation of Syndrome E. And while the two were undeniably drawn to one another, fate has since torn them apart. Sharko has forgone retirement but has taken a voluntary step down in the ranks so that he can once again work the streets. Hennebelle, though, has left the police force altogether in an attempt to heal after the tragic events that led to their breakup. And yet, another odd case will force the two back together once again.


Sharko is called to the scene of a brutal attack at a primate research facility. The victim is a student who had been doing her graduate studies there. The case looks to be pretty airtight – the suspect, a chimp, is found locked in the pen alongside the girl’s body. But things aren’t quite as they seem. The chimp, trained in sign language, describes the killer to the best of her abilities and the evidence seems to indicate she’s telling the truth. And so Sharko must turn to the victim to find a motive behind her murder. At the same time, Lucie has started her own off the books investigation – one that brings her straight into Sharko’s territory and is undeniably linked to the student’s murder.

Franck Thilliez brings together science and mystery to create some of the most fascinating plots I’ve ever read. This time the two cursed detectives (‘cause Thilliez really does throw them to the wolves) uncover a link between evolution and violence that could trace all the way back to the Cro-Magnons. Their hunt for the truth takes them to some of the darkest recesses of the world and forces them both to confront the very thing that ripped them so suddenly apart.

Bred to Kill is just the second of Thilliez’s titles to be translated into English, though it does appear to be the fourth installment in the series (Syndrome E was apparently book three). There’s no word yet on future translations, but given that this has quickly become a favorite of mine I do hope we’ll see more of them here in the years to come.

2/15 Becky LeJeune

BRED TO KILL by Franck Thilliez. Viking (January 8, 2015). ISBN: 978-0670025978. 384p.

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