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The Lying Down Room - Anna Jaquiery

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and this is my honest opinion of the book.


Paris in August. The locals have left for the summer, leaving the sweltering heat to the tourists and those unlucky enough to not get away. Commandant Serge Morel is one of them, called to a macabre crime scene. An old woman is dead, tucked up tightly in her bed but she looks anything but serene. Soon Morel and his colleagues are on the hunt for a killer who appears to be targeting old women and they must uncover the truth before the killer strikes again.


This is the debut novel by Anna Jaquiery and the first in the Morel series. It will certainly not be last book of Anna’s I read.


There is a darkness that runs throughout the novel, juxtaposing the sweltering heat and sun of August and the romantic setting of Paris. This storyline definitely plays on the emotions. It is difficult to go into details without giving too much away, but the history of the Russian orphanages is part of the story and it this which made this a heart breaking and often enraging read. The mystery itself was engaging. I more often than not gauge ‘who dunnit’ before the reveal but that doesn’t stop me enjoying the protagonists journey on discovering the killer. This can be said for this novel.


I like the host of characters that we meet in this novel. Morel’s boss is narcissistic and could well be on his way to be as annoying as Donna Leon’s Patta from her Guido Brunetti series (of which I am a huge fan). The supporting characters of fellow police officers help round out the story and I look forward to seeing how they develop in future novels. As for Morel I found him to be a flawed and yet somewhat selfless man, who has issues with his past and a strange relationship with his father and his married girlfriend.


I always love discovering new crime series and this is one can’t wait to continue.