‘Body on the Rocks’ Rachel Green
Mourning the death of her police inspector husband, Margot Renard moves to a small seaside town in the south of France. But when the body of a small boy washes up on a beach, Margot is drawn into a dangerous world of drug smugglers and people trafficking, and forced to cross paths with two feuding gangsters.
It is pretty exciting in the week that the ‘Friends’ reunion has dominated social media and TV, to get a novel from the pseudonymous pen of a Rachel Green – although, presumably this one still has her original face.
What we have in this novel is Book One in a series – Book Two is already available, as is a short story when you visit Green’s website – featuring Madam Renard.
Relocating from Paris to the Mediterranean town of Argents-sur-Mer, the recently widowed Renard is soon investigating the dark undercurrents of the pretty surface of rural France.
This is a novel bathed in melancholy – there certainly seems to be overtones of the awful Alan Kurdi case in the set up – and Green is willing to delve into the unpalatable attitudes of some of the locals. This sadness is reinforced by the way that the character of Renard is still processing the life she was going to live with her husband in their rural escape, a future now snatched away from her.
Green is clearly an accomplished writer. She is alert to colour and the subtleties and nuance of people’s movements and, always a big bonus for me, her dialogue has the snap and sparkle of real people.
Overall, this is moving, novel as bathed in the ambience of France as an oven fresh croissant with a piping hot coffee accompaniment. I look forward to reading Book Two. Bravo!
Author Bio – Rachel Green is the pen name of a writer from the UK. Rachel has twice been longlisted for both the Bath Novel Award and the BPA First Novel Award, as well as being on the shortlist for the Capital Crime New Voices Award. Rachel lives in a tiny village in England, but travels frequently to the south of France where the stories from the Madame Renard Investigates series are set.