It is hard to discuss the plot for discussing the twists would be to spoil the story. What led up to the professor / broadcaster / environmentalist who leaped to his death from an office building and the attractive young tourist found dead on the beach was not predictable.
The dual investigations proceed through the book occasionally intersecting.
Anne Marie Leveaud, judge d’instruction, is an interesting person. She is a 42 year old single mother of two children who grew up in Algeria when it was part of France. Her husband disappeared from her life after becoming involved in terrorist violence concerning the independence movement in Guadeloupe. She is not perfect. She has flaws in her personal and professional life.
I regret to say she never became a truly interesting character for me. I wanted to like her. She is an admirable figure but she never caught me as a reader.
A continuing frustration in the book involved the repeated scenes where witnesses and police would not answer Ms. Leveaud’s questions directly. My patience was exhausted with the obstinate nature of the characters. I am accustomed to answers that are not always truthful but to avoid any response was to make the narrative choppy.
As noted in my last post the men of Guadeloupe were obsessive in their pursuit of women. There actions and attitudes did not change in the last 222 pages. Can it be that Caribbean men are living stereotypes?
The book stayed filled with examples of the racism of the island. The distinctions made between white and black and all the shades in between are never ending. The islanders of East Indian descent are simply called Indians. The racist attitudes are constant and depressing.
Guadeloupe may be a physical tropical paradise but the islanders are a grim group. I do not know if Caribbean noir is appropriate but I found the portrayal dark
I did find the end of the book convincing and all too real. Unfortunately, it was too late for me. I think other readers might gobble up this book but I do not see reading another in the series.