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Author: Adrian Magson
Genre: Crime, Mystery & Thriller
Pub. Date: 25th June 2012
1963. A disagreement in a restaurant near Amiens turns to violence, and three English tourists are questioned by police. A misunderstanding, say the men, who claim they are visiting local British military cemeteries in search of a family member’s grave. They even have a map of the region to prove it. They offer generous compensation and profuse apologies before being released. After all, there are talks of building a channel tunnel; why stir up trouble unnecessarily?
But when Inspector Lucas Rocco learns that one of the Englishmen is a London gangster with links to the notorious Kray twins, he decides to investigate further. He uncovers a shady trail of crime that may end with the assassination of the President himself.
'Well done, Adrian Magson. He knows what readers like, enjoys writing detective novels, and knows how to construct a fast-paced, twisty plot. Itís a pleasure to read a detective novel set in 1963. No mind-boggling forensics to help out the police, just observation, questions and brain work. This is a novel without pages of brutality and blood but with plenty of action, clues and constructive thinking. Magson takes us to the France of General de Gaulle with deft touches, little details which evoke the Sixties. He keeps things nicely international with English and French villains, a wicked French plot, and political shenanigans on both sides of the channel. Inspector Rocco, the suave bilingual policeman, is a likeable character, and readers can cheer him on through all the nasty problems thrown into his path. We want him to get his man and yet are never sure right until the end. Excellent tight writing by Magson; this novel is bound to add to his fan base.'Historical Novels Review
'Enough action to keep any crime fiction reader engaged, combined with a sense of history, political intrigue, but also humorous observations...Magsonís style in these novels has been compared to Simenon, and there certainly is that same dexterity in portraying the claustrophobia of the small village, the same fine psychological details, but Rocco is far more of an action man than Maigret...This is a series that deserves wider recognition and I, for one, hope it will run and run.'Crime Fiction Lover
'DEATH ON THE PONT NOIR has a darker feel than the earlier books. This is certainly not gastronomic cosy territory. Magson provides solid police work, great characterisation and pacy plotting. Rocco is on fine form here, and I hope he will continue in this vein for a long time to come.'Reviewing the Evidence
A brave plot. Our intrepid detective stuck in 60s France tackles issues around attempts to knock-off General de gaule. This is the third outing for our detective and there is much to commend AM as he explores this character and expands the other players in this fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing; it is descriptive, carries a sense of place and atmosphere and is underlined with a tension throughout the book. It would be wrong to compare with Day of the Jackal a brilliant novel. No, we are treated to life in Lucas Rocco's experience, he is aware of JFK being assassinated and the great train robbery. This is his time and it is wonderfully told by Adrian Magson who is a creative and entertaining storyteller. This series just gets stronger and Death on the Pont Noir is both a compelling and a gentle read in this popular genre.Richard Latham