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Crime novel set in BIARRITZ and PARIS

29th January 2024

Skin Deep by Antonia Lassa, crime novel set in BIARRITZ and PARIS.

TR: Jacky Collins

Crime novel set in BIARRITZ and PARIS

Skin Deep by Antonia Lassa (translated by Jacky Collins) is a slim yet creative detective novel with a cast of unusual characters. First, we meet Inspector Cannone of the Bayonne police, in South West France. He is not in a good place: a hole in his gum where a tooth should be and a foundering relationship are making him grumpy. Added to that, he is tasked with solving the perplexing murder of a well-to-do, elderly Parisienne in a down-market holiday rental in Biarritz. His mood is deteriorating. Luckily, it seems that the police have caught the murderer right away. They just need to prove it….

Crime novel set in BIARRITZ and PARISMeanwhile, in Paris, private investigator Albert Larten is engaged by another wealthy Parisienne to conduct the defence of Inspector Cannone’s suspect. When he encounters the suspect, Emile Gassiat, Larten realises he has almost no evidence with which to defend the eccentric young man. He must rely on his instincts to prove Gassiat’s innocence. Larten is foremost a wine lover and blogger, who conducts his detective business from a camper van (echoes of The Lincoln Lawyer, for Michael Connolly fans!). As someone who sees himself as ‘other’ sexually, he finds himself empathising with his young client.

The author successfully keeps the reader entertained as the clues emerge and the true murderer is finally revealed. She deftly moves the action between the two locations, which are important in representing the backgrounds of the characters but otherwise not described in great detail. I’d be interested to read other books from the same author, as the characters were intriguing.

Sue for the TripFiction Team

Catch our reviewer Sue on Twitter @SueKelsoRyan and on IG @SueKelosRyan

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Catch translator Jacky (also one of the people behind Newcastle Noir) on Twitter X: @CollinsJacky

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