■ REVIEW: Alex
Gruesome but worth the effort

If you are in any way squeamish, you might just struggle to get past the first few pages of this gruesome but compelling thriller by French author Pierre Lemaitre.

However, it’s worth the effort and if you make it past those first awful moments, you’ll be rewarded with a book that keeps the adrenalin flowing to the very end.

A beautiful young woman, Alex Prevost, has been kidnapped and taken to an abandoned warehouse. There, she suffers in an ordeal that is uncomfortable to read about, but disturbingly well written.

In kidnapping cases, the first few hours are vital. After that, the chances of being found alive drop drastically. For Alex, time is running out and her kidnapper wants nothing more than to watch his victim die.

Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven has no leads, and Alex has no hope.

However, as he learns more about the young woman he realises she is no ordinary victim.

The story builds nicely, stacking twists and clues on the initial horrifically descriptive events to end up in a book that is a brilliant read.

From what I’ve read online, I believe this book is part of a trilogy to feature Commandant Verhoeven. This is the first thriller by Lamaitre to be translated into English and I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for any future translations.

Alex, by Pierre Lemaitre (MacLehose, RRP $38)

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