Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films
Death on the Rive Nord is the second book in the series featuring Inspector Lucas Rocco. It is now 1963 and Inspector Rocco finds himself investigating the stabbing of an illegal immigrant whose body surfaces along a deserted stretch of canal. The investigation brings problems for Rocco, as he has to find the stabbed victims fellow travellers.
The problem of illegal immigrants are also a political sensitive issue for his bosses in the Ministry. One which they want to avoid at all costs. When Rocco is asked to stay away from a factory where he believes illegal workers are being employed he finds it extremely difficult to do so. This is also compounded by the fact that one of the illegal workers is a young woman who is on the run from Farek, a brutal Algerian gangster who is her ex-husband and who has threatened to kill her and their small child.
However, Farek has bigger plans in mind. He aims to become gang lord of Paris and will kill anyone who gets in his way including a senior police officer. Rocco finds himself in an insidious position, one which he is not even sure he will survive. As much as he would like to protect the woman and her child he also has his own orders from his bosses to obey. There is also the added fact that he is attempting to take on a gangster who is unafraid of breaking the law and its consequences.
Death on the Rive Nord is not only expertly written but is an enjoyable read from beginning to end. Inspector Lucas Rocco is a character that remains with you long after you have finished reading and one that readers can easily sympathise with as he struggles to do what is right which is not always what the law proscribes. The depressing, grave, atmospheric landscape of Picardie is vividly brought to life. Furthermore, this is a series that will undoubtedly get better and better and I am awaiting with baited breath the next one in the series as it will be fascinating and rewarding to see what problem the delightful Inspector Rocco finds himself dealing with. Adrian Magson is a brilliant writer with a wonderful character.