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Freeze Frame

The Fourth of the Enzo Files

by Peter May

Freeze Frame by Peter May X
Freeze Frame by Peter May
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2010, 400 pages

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Jo Perry
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Power Reviewer
Cloggie Downunder

addictive crime fiction
Freeze Frame is the fourth book in the Enzo Macleod Investigation series by Scottish journalist, screenwriter and author, Peter May. When Enzo arrives on Ile de Grois to investigate a fourth cold case from Roger Raffin’s book, he is dismayed to see that, due to a local press headline, the whole town is watching him. Thibaud Verjean, the man who was tried, and acquitted, of the murder of English tropical medicine professor, Adam Killian almost two decades earlier, accosts Enzo as he steps off the ferry, taunting him to try to prove his guilt where others have failed.

The gendarme in charge, Richard Gueguen warns Enzo that officially he isn’t permitted to offer any assistance, but is just as eager as anyone else to see the case solved: he was a trainee in Grois at the time it happened. The only genuine welcome is from Jane Killian, who hopes he can resolve the matter. On Adam’s instruction, given moments before her father-in-law was shot dead, she has ensured that nothing has been moved or removed from his study.

Adam’s intention was for his son, Peter to interpret the instruction he left behind and complete the task he had begun, but Jane’s husband died in Africa mere days later. As a forensic expert, this sort of case is right up his alley, but when Enzo examines the scene, what he finds is a diary entry, post-it notes, an inverted poem and a shopping list, all too cryptic to understand. Clearly, he needs to think like Peter. Puzzling, too, is why anyone would want to murder a dying man: Adam would soon have been dead of lung cancer.

At a loss with Killian’s study, Enzo checks out significant spots on the island, talks to witnesses at Verjean’s trial and Killian’s physician. Apart from several nasty encounters with Verjean, though, he learns little. His scientific expertise is not helping, he is at a loss. Meanwhile, he is plagued by a black cat, freezing cold weather and a nightly strip-tease trying to tempt him.

When he (finally!) more closely examines the clues Killian left, he has a minor breakthrough that sends him off to Paris and Morocco. Before he manages to solve the case he is, however, distracted by what his erstwhile lover Charlotte Roux reveals. His paranoia sees him rolling in icy wet grass; poor judgement gets him beaten up, almost killed and his tires slashed.

Without doubt, this is the best of the Enzo books thus far. May lays a trail of clues for the astute reader to follow; some are very subtle, some quite blatant; enough that the reader will fix on the likely killer well before the reveal, only to find they are quite wrong. Addictive crime fiction.
Barbara Peters

Updating the Enzo Series
This isn't a review -- since I am Peter May's editor one can assume I am a delighted fan of his work.

This is to say that in line with the forensics in the seven-book Enzo series based on a wager that the Scottish scientist can solve seven cold cases presented in a book by Parisian journalist Roger Raffin -- perhaps a ruffian himself -- we have retitled the first two books to fit the concept better.

Thus 2006's Extraordinary People is now available in trade paperback as DRY BONES. The Critic is now A VINTAGE CORPSE. Both are available under these titles while the older titles no longer are.

Then comes Blacklight Blue and now Freeze Frame. And next year we will get Blow Back, investigating the mysterious death of a three-star Michelin Guide chef which in France is a ticket to serious money and fame. The celebrity chef has gained recognition in the US in various ways including the book and film "Julie and Julia."
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