7.10.15

THE CAIRO DIARY, by Maxim Chattam

 Translated from the French by Susan Dyson. In Cairo, in 1928, a series of atrocious murders of young children took place. The diary of the investigation follows the trail of the author and principal investigator, English Police Detective Jeremy Matheson. But the diary is lost, and is only unearthed when, on Mont-St-Michel in 2005, a woman being hidden by the French Secret Service finds it in a pile of discarded books. Marion, who worked in Paris' morgue, had seen something she shouldn't have seen, and her life is threatened. Until she can testify in a current murder case, she has been spirited away to live among a monastic community. Click below for more...
After a mysterious correspondent gives her a riddle to solve, Marion becomes too engrossed in the diary to seek further letters. The novel switches nicely from ancient, bustling Cairo to the nearly-deserted Mont in winter, both of them told in evocative detail. The translation does not give a nod to the informality of English, so you may find some passages a bit stilted. It's a 4.
The author, published by McMillan, does not have a web site.
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