QUERCUS OUT 12 JANUARY
Back in 2006, May’s novel Extraordinary People introduced Enzo Macleod, a lion-maned, Italian-scottish hippy and serial ladykiller who’s also a brilliant forensic scientist and lecturer at a French university. That novel saw Macleod make a drunken bet with a journalist who had published a book about unsolved Gallic murders, vowing to get to the bottom of all of these baffling cases. After five novels, May put the Enzo Macleod novels on the back burner, as he emerged from the publishing mid-list with his hugely successful Lewis Trilogy, which is set in the Outer Hebrides. May now takes us back to France for the sixth and final outing for Macleod, wherein we finally get to discover whether he’ll win that bet — although Enzo’s more worried about tracking down whoever’s trying to sabotage his investigation by kidnapping his daughter.
Part of the appeal of these books is May’s piling on of guidebook-worthy detail – few readers will complain when he has Enzo, for instance, stopping to note that the Château Duras once had its own bakery, even as he’s being chased by two nasty fellows with guns. Cast Iron may never deviate far from the traditional crime fiction template, but it is extremely well done.