Tuesday 19 December 2017

Review ~ Rocco and the Nightingale by Adrian Magson

The Dome press
9 November 2017

My thanks to FMcM Associates for my copy of this book

Inspector Lucas Rocco returns in the fifth chapter of this author's popular detective mysteries which are set in 1960s Picardy. Inspector Rocco has been sent from his home patch in Paris to the small village of Poissons-Les-Marais, as part of a nation wide initiative to broaden police operations. But whilst his new patch may be rural, its certainly not uneventful. As Rocco discovers , violence is the same anywhere whether on the elegant streets of the French capital or the murky backwaters and deadly marshes of the Somme valley.

What did I think..

Whilst this is the fifth book in the Inspector Rocco Mysteries, it is the first to be published by The Dome Press. This is also my first meeting with Lucas Rocco, and to be honest, I feel like I have stumbled across a series which I wished I had started earlier. The Rocco Mysteries are set in the 1960s, in rural France, around Picardy, and Inspector Rocco appears to be that still small voice of calm in a police department which, at times, seems to be at odds with itself.

When the body of a man is found at the edge of a remote road, near the sleepy village of Poissons-les Marais, Rocco is called into investigate, little realising that the man, a Parisian street criminal, was actually on his way to warn Rocco about something which could have devastating consequences. What then follows is a convoluted crime thriller, which will see Rocco and his investigative team having to race against time as they try to thwart the actions of a group of unscrupulous individuals.

The mystery at the heart of the novel is well explored and I especially liked the way that Inspector Rocco went about his investigative enquiries. That he commands the respect of his fellow officers is obvious in the way that his contemporaries react to him and I think that the author has done a great job of allowing Rocco enough confidence to get on with the business at hand. As a new reader there was enough background information for me to get to know Rocco although I suspect that readers from book one will understand him an awful lot more.

It was really refreshing to have a mystery which was set comfortably in the pre-digital age, so no mobile phones, no computer wizardry, just good old fashioned police work and detailed sleuthing. I had to smile when Rocco, at the height of all the action, had to pull up at a road side bar-tabac to use the public telephone.

This has been an enjoyable first visit to the world of Lucas Rocco and such is the charm and charisma of the man that I am sure I will be catching up again with his adventures before too long.

About the author

Adrian Magson is a master of the detective thriller , with more than twenty crime and spy thrillers to his name. He has also written short stories, a YA ghost story and a writers' help book, entitled, Write On! He spent much of his childhood in France, which inspired the Rocco series, and now lives in the Forest of Dean.

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