Crossing the Line: Paris Homicide #2 by Frédérique Molay with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for Crossing the Line, book 2 Frédérique Molay’s Paris  Homocide procedural series, translated from the original French by Anne Trager. Please be sure to check the other tour stops, read the excerpt here and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could be one of the winners of   5 copies Print (US Only) or 5 digital copies (International) of Crossing the Line by Frédérique Molay.

Book Review

Nico Sirsky is back and hits the ground running (literally and figuratively) after his protracted leave while recovering from a gunshot.  A touch restless and ready to reclaim his position in the Chief’s office at the Parisian headquarters.  Life is better now than it was in our first encounter, his relationship with his ex-wife is settled, and his teenaged son is now living with him full-time, giving him a sense of family and connection to the boy that he worried was damaged irreparably during the divorce.

Caroline is also much more of a presence in this book, and her character is far more developed: the relationship with Nico is developing and solidifying: she still has her own residence, but she spends more time with Nico and Dmitri.  While the relationships take a less prominent role than in the previous book, they are used to great effect to ground Nico, keep him a bit more ‘real’, showing the layers and worries that often interrupt his thoughts.

It is coming up on Christmas, and dental students who use donated cadavers for practice and learning come upon a note in a filling.  Simply etched on the plastic are the words, “I was murdered”.  Not sure if this was a prank or portent of more, the toothy note pushes the current investigation of a massive jewel theft to the back burner.  Determining if the message was actually truth, or simply a strange suicide, Nico begins to uncover a series of clues that seem to connect several murders, and the twists just keep on coming.

Molay does manage to keep readers intrigued with increasingly unusual clues, twists and some tension back in the office with other members of Nico’s team. Life has continued on, despite a new baby for one officer and a spouse’s death, scrambling for moments to prepare for the holiday, and the ever-present search for a killer. Honest and gritty descriptions are not always for the faint of heart, and for readers who enjoy procedurals, this mystery will keep them satisfied. Most certainly a read in one sitting title, but I did need the lights on later.

Crossing the Line: Paris Homicide #2 by Frédérique Molay with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Crossing the Line
Author: Frédérique Molay
Series: Paris Homicide #2
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Published by: Le French Book
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 280
Audio Length: 5 Hours: 51 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance iTunes Downpour IndieBound
See this Title on Goodreads

It’s Christmas in Paris and Chief of Police Nico Sirsky has an uneasy feeling that something is very wrong with the case he’s investigating. He and his team of crack homicide detectives follow the clues from an apparent suicide, to an apparent accident, to an all-out murder as an intricate machination starts breaking down.

Just how far can despair push a man?

How clear is the line between good and evil?

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Nico had started his jog at the Esplanade des Invalides, skimmed around the Eiffel Tower, circumvented the Arc de Triomphe, and made his way along the Champs-Élysées to the Concorde. Then he ran past the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre. His next milepost: the Luxembourg Gardens. He could hear Commander David Kriven, one of the Criminal Investigation Division’s twelve squad chiefs, teasing him about how ridiculous it was to take the right bank to get from the Invalides to the Sénat.  There were more direct routes and certainly less strenuous means of transportation than on his one good leg.

It had been only three months since the surgeon had operated on Nico’s leg. After that, he had dived into intensive physical therapy—there was no way he would concede the slightest victory to the bastard who had targeted him. Nico had braved it all, even if it meant clenching his teeth and swallowing painkillers. Spread the word: Chief Nico Sirsky was back full time in his fourth-floor office at the Paris police headquarters, 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

He had returned to his old brown leather chair and his giant worktable filled with case files and police complaints. He was once again leading his team of a hundred or so elite crime fighters. Just as important, he had put his stormy divorce and the sudden departure of his depressed ex-wife behind him. He had custody of their fourteen-year-old son, and now Dimitri, Caroline, and he were a real family.

In the middle of the Pont des Arts, Nico felt transported to a snowy scene in Russia, his family homeland. The roofs resembled mountaintops in the Caucasus. In front of him, in place of the golden dome of the Institut de France—home of the Académie Française—he imagined the red façade of Moscow’s Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Nico smiled at the thought of Paris strutting its stuff, no matter the weather. Come rain, wind, or snow, his city revealed all her finery with the same charm, like an experienced, elegant, and spellbinding woman. The Seine River rippling beneath him complemented the magic.

Returning to the Left Bank, Nico slipped on a thin layer of white powder that carpeted the pavement. He recovered his footing just as he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. Who could be calling at such an early hour? Going by probability alone, he guessed it was headquarters. Like a praying mantis lying in wait for its quarry, death stalked the city’s alleys, dead ends, and gardens in the hours before dawn. And the most pious-looking killer could strike at dizzying speed.

Caroline’s name appeared on the screen with a text message. “I love you. Be careful.” Nico felt a knot in his throat; never before had he had such strong feelings for a woman. “Luv U 2,” he answered as he sped up, running in pace with the sensual harmony of The xx, with its distant guitars and troubling blend of refinement and brutality.

He finished with a sprint down the Rue Oudinot. He typed in the gate code and pushed his way into a small private alley lined with a few handsome homes. This was his corner of paradise, near the Tour Montparnasse. He entered his house and took off his sopping-wet running shoes. In the hallway, a note was hanging from the coat rack: “Hi, Dad. Hope you’re okay. Off to school. Later. D.”

Nico looked at his watch. It was seven thirty. He sighed and went upstairs, in great need of a hot shower. The water spurted out, calming him, and Nico imagined Caroline’s gentle hands soaping him up, her mouth glued to his.

“Stop that, would you!” he said out loud.

He rinsed quickly and stepped out of the shower, wrapping a towel around his waist and going into his room—their room. Caroline had kept her apartment but came here more and more often.


About Frédérique Molay

Called, “the French Michael Connelly,” Frédérique Molay graduated from France’s prestigious Science Po and began her career in politics and the French administration. She worked as chief of staff for the deputy mayor of Saint-Germain-en-Laye,
and then was elected to the local government in Saône-et-Loire.

Meanwhile, she spent her nights pursing a passion for writing she had nourished since she wrote her first novel at the age of eleven. The first in the Paris Homicide series, The 7th Woman, won France’s most prestigious crime fiction award and went on to become an international bestseller, allowing Molay to dedicate her life to writing and raising her three children.

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