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Mannequin (St-Cyr and Kohler)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 075282709X, Paperback)"In spite of the war and the conqueror-conquered relationship, they had got on since the fall of 1940. Two detectives of long standing. None of the Gestapo-SS brutality and sadism for them. Just robbery, arson, murder, extortion, other things also, and much trouble with the SS and the Gestapo. These days so many got in the way."
Among the people getting in the way of Inspectors Jean-Louis St-Cyr of the French Surete and Hermann Kohler of the Gestapo in this fourth installment of Canadian author J. Robert Janes's memorable series is top Nazi Hermann Goering. Goering's in Paris on an art-looting mission that crosses paths with an investigation by Kohler and St-Cyr into the murders of several young women who answered an ad to become fashion models. Ghosts of wars past and present haunt the story: one of the suspects is a "drooler," an aristocrat badly mutilated in World War One; and Kohler's two sons are involved in the ongoing siege of Stalingrad.
It's impossible to praise too highly the subtle ways in which Janes shows the twisted idiocy of the times through the lives of his two cops. St-Cyr (his family destroyed in a bomb blast) lives with a singer who has Resistance ties. But this most patriotic of Frenchmen faces death from a strengthened Resistance because of his perceived collaboration with the German occupiers. Kohler supports and protects two French women, and thereby puts them in danger. Always at odds with his Gestapo superiors, Kohler also needs their help in his investigations. When he faces down Goering at an art auction, it seems as much an act of suicidal madness as one of moral strength.
Mannequin begins just as the equally impressive Salamander ends. Along with Sandman and Stonekiller, they form a quartet as resonant as any ever written about a world at war. --Dick Adler
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:11 -0400)
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