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Cast Iron by Peter May (Enzo files #6)

July 25, 2017

THE GIRL IN THE LAKE

 

In 1989, a killer dumped the body of twenty-year-old Lucie Martin into a picturesque lake in the West of France. Fourteen years later, during a summer heatwave, a drought exposed her remains – bleached bones amid the scorched mud and slime.

 

THE MAN ON THE CASE

 

No one was ever convicted of her murder. But now, forensic expert Enzo Macleod is reviewing this stone-cold case – the toughest of those he has been challenged to solve.

 

THE SKELETON IN THE CLOSET

 

Yet when Enzo finds a flaw in the original evidence surrounding Lucie’s murder, he opens a Pandora’s box that not only raises old ghosts but endangers his entire family.

 

I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for the new paperback of Cast Iron. A new Enzo files book is always a joy – indeed, anything Peter May writes is going to be worth investing a few quid in, but this time the joy is tinged with a little sadness.

For this is the final Enzo Macleod book; the one in which all your questions are answered, all the loose ends are tied up and Enzo’s course for the future is set. And gentle reader, so bereft was I by this news that I took the opportunity to seriously question Peter about it when I was at Harrogate. And yes, he was clear that this is indeed the final book in the Enzo series.

So if you haven’t read any of this series, do the series justice and start from the beginning. This book can and does work fine as a stand-alone, but do yourself a favour and enjoy it more by starting at the beginning.

The premise of these books is simple; a french investigative journalist named Roger Raffin has written a cold case book enitled Les Assassins Caches about the murders of 7 people, one of whom was Raffin’s wife.

Enzo McLeod, a larger than life figure, Scottish forensics expert and half Italian to boot, drunkenly bets Raffin that he can solve the cold cases using modern forensic techniques. The bet itself is  20,000 francs, money that Enzo can’t afford to lose, so MacLeod, who now teaches forensics in Toulouse, throws himself into solving the cases at considerable risk to himself and those around him.

There are many around him, too. Living in France has clearly warmed up his cold Scottish blood and brought out the Latin side of his character and he has a number of former lovers and various children and grandchildren scattered throughout France.

One of the things I really enjoy about May’s Enzo Files books are the fabulous descriptions of France. The book is redolent with  atmosphere, from the buildings and scenery to the cooking and baking scents that fill my nostrils and make my mouth water as I am reading.

In Cast Iron, all these good things are present and more. The book is tightly plotted and very well thought through. Even although I was sure I knew where May was leading me, in the end there were some big surprises that shocked me and made me question what I had missed.

In 2003, the skeleton of nineteen-year-old Lucie Martin is recovered from a dry riverbed in France, but her murder remains unsolved. All the evidence at the time pointed to a pimp who was already serving time having confessed to the murder of three prostitutes, but who has remained resolutely silent about Lucie.

As Enzo visits her parents to begin his investigation, they introduce him to other bereaved parents whose daughters have also disappeared, believed murdered – perhaps by the same man. Though this is more than MacLeod had bargained for, he has no option in the face of these grieving parents but to say that he will at least look into these additional cases.

As he doggedly follows the trail that will lead him to the truth, he puts his own life and those of others he loves into jeopardy and this book proves to be quite a dark tale. It is also somewhat prescient, dealing as it does with the rise of a French politician about whom very little is known.

The final denouement is both thrilling and shocking and May has very satisfyingly brought together all the strands of the Enzo files into a coherent conclusion.

Though I am sad to see the end of the Enzo files, it’s fair to say that it’s probably time for Enzo to stop his philandering and settle down. I’ll miss these books but will eagerly look forward to next May series.

 

Cast Iron is published in paperback by riverrun on July 27th 2017

 

Amazon                                   Waterstones

 

About Peter May

 peter mayjpg

Peter May is the multi award-winning author of:the internationally best-selling Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland;  the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell;  the critically-acclaimed Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France; and several standalone books, including the multi award-winning Entry Island (January 2014, Quercus UK) and his latest Runaway (Quercus 2015).

He has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

One of Scotland’s most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama.  He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Born and raised in Scotland he now lives in France.

After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy – The Blackhouse – was published in France as L’Ile des Chasseurs d’Oiseaux where it was hailed as “a masterpiece” by the French national newspaper L’Humanité.  His novels have a large following in France.  The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world’s largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers).  It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013,

Entry Island won the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2014 and the ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Club Best Read of the Year 2014

Don’t just take my word for it; see what others on the blogtour think :

Cast Iron blog tour poster

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From → Crime, Thriller

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