Saturday, December 19, 2015

26. White Leopard by Laurent Guillaume

I picked this up on a whim in new trade paperback format at a nice bookstore in Berkeley I had been browsing at for way too long and felt like I should support with real dollars.  It was a good choice, though I wish the format had been a traditional paperback and I wish I had the discipline to have hunted it down and read it in the original french (and maybe I will with some of his other books as this one was pretty short).

It starts out intense and brutal and grabbed me right away.  After that, it was the setting of Mali that kept me hooked.  It's the story of a French cop of Malian origin who is forced to flee France after a revenge killing.  He is now a private detective in Mali, who earned the moniker the White Leopard in the local papers, due to his detecting exploits and light skin.  The story is fast-paced and relies too many times on last minute rescues (he is well-connected), but ultimately pulls together well.  Really enjoyable.

Guillaume has written several thrillers in french.  This one was translated by lefrenchbooks, a line that sources out good french genre books and translates them into english.  If White Leopard is any indication, this looks like a line worth keeping an eye on.

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