Excerpt from The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Frozen Dead

by Bernard Minier

The Frozen Dead
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2014, 496 pages
    Sep 2015, 496 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kate Braithwaite

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translator's note

The French justice system is somewhat different from that elsewhere. Under French law, when it is believed that a crime has been committed, an officer of the crime unit will inform the district public prosecutor, who in turn appoints an examining magistrate to the case. Investigations are conducted under the supervision of these magistrates, who answer to the Ministry of Justice. Crimes may be investigated by police commissioners from the crime unit, along with commissioned officers of the gendarmerie.

The Frozen Dead



Diane Berg – Curriculum vitae
Psychologist, Swiss Federation of Psychologists (FSP)
Specialist in Forensic Psychology (SSPL)

Date of Birth: 16 July 1976
Nationality: Swiss

2002: Master of advanced studies in clinical psychology (DES), University of Geneva. Dissertation: 'Instinctual Economy, Necrophilia and Dismembering among Compulsive Killers'.
1999: Degree in psychology, University of Geneva. Dissertation: 'Aspects of Childhood Fear among Children Eight to Twelve Years of Age'.
1995: Secondary School Diploma in classical and Latin studies
1994: Cambridge First Certificate in English as a foreign language

Professional Experience:
2003 – present: Private Practice, psychotherapy and forensic psychology, Geneva 2001 – present: Assistant to Professor Pierre Spitzner at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPSE), University of Geneva
1999–2001: Intern in psychology, Institute of Forensic Psychology, University of Geneva Intern in psychology, Medical Services of Champ-Dollon Prison

Professional Associations:
International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH)
Geneva Association of Psychologists-Psychotherapists (AGPP)
Swiss Federation of Psychologists (FSP)
Swiss Society of Forensic Psychology (SSPL)

Interests: Classical music (ten years of violin), jazz, reading
Sports: swimming, running, diving, potholing, parachute jumping


Dgdgdgdgdgd – taktaktak – ddgdgdgdgdg – taktaktak

Sounds: the regular clicking of the cable and, intermittently, of wheels over towers as the cable car passed over, causing the cabin to judder. Then the ever-present wailing of the wind, a fluty sound, like the cries of children in distress. Finally the voices of the passengers in the cabin as they shouted to make themselves heard above the din. There were five of them, including Huysmans.

Dgdgdgdgdgd – taktaktak – ddgdgdgdgdg – taktaktak

'Shit! I don't like going up there in this weather,' one of them said. Huysmans watched in silence for the lower lake to appear, a thousand metres below, through the gusts of snow swirling round the cabin. The cables seemed peculiarly slack, tracing a double curve that drooped lazily into the grey background.

The clouds parted. The lake appeared. Briefly. For a moment it looked like a puddle beneath the sky, a simple splash of water between the peaks and the strips of tattered cloud against the summits.

'What the fuck does the weather have to do with it?' said someone else. 'We're going to spend a week stuck underneath that fucking mountain no matter what.'

The hydroelectric power station at Arruns: perched two thousand metres high with a series of halls and tunnels burrowed seventy metres underground. The longest tunnel stretched for eleven kilometres, feeding the water from the upper lake to the pressure pipelines: pipes a metre and a half in diameter that ran down the mountain to force the water from the upper lake to the thirsty turbines of the production facilities down in the valley. There was only one way into the station's interior, deep in the mountain: through an access shaft from the top of the station, then down a hoist and along a tunnel on board two-seated tractors while the gates were closed. Eight kilometres of tunnels for a voyage lasting a good hour, into the heart of darkness.

Excerpted from The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier. Copyright © 2014 by Bernard Minier. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Minotaur. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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