Paperbacks by Valentin Gendrot, Heather Young and Laura Dave reviewed by Alastair Mabbott


Scribe, £ 9.99

French journalist Gendrot infiltrated for two years to infiltrate the Parisian police, spending six months in a district where the tension between the police and the public was already high. His account of racism and violence against force is disturbing, if not entirely surprising. The climate he found was one in which young people and migrants were particularly dehumanized, an attitude that turned into “routine slurs against ordinary citizens; the general lack of respect for the public ”. Assaults and beatings were rife, masked by a culture of enlistment and misrepresentation. Coupled with poor wages and conditions, the climate of violence and intimidation has also taken its toll on recruits, with depression and suicidal thoughts rampant. The terse conciseness of his presentation shows just how desensitized the recruits have become – Gendrot, mentally exhausted at the end of his stay, is no exception. Most likely, readers will find Cop both informative and exhausting.


young heather

Verve, £ 9.99

On the death of her great-aunt Lucy, Justine becomes the sole beneficiary of the old lady and acquires her old house on the shores of Lake Minnesota. It’s a godsend, which allows Justine to escape San Diego and her manipulative boyfriend and make a fresh start with her two daughters. Lucy also bequeathed a notebook that tells how her younger sister, Emily, went missing in 1935 at a Minnesota vacation spot. As Justine settles into her new home and begins reading Lucy’s story, she realizes that the two sons of the vacation resort owner are still alive and live nearby. Plus, her possessive boyfriend and opportunistic mom have heard about her windfall and want a share. As old secrets surrounding Emily’s disappearance finally emerge, Justine’s issues with two of the people closest to her come to a head. Young’s exploration of sister-daughter relationships makes for a melancholy and atmospheric start.



Laura Dave

Viper, £ 8.99

Newly married Hannah Hall and Owen Michaels have been living on a houseboat in Sausalito, Calif., With Owen’s 16-year-old daughter Bailey for a year when the CEO of the tech company Owen works for is arrested for fraud. Owen suddenly makes a runner, leaving a bag of money in Bailey’s school locker and a note for Hannah reading, “Protect her.” Bailey has never been a fan of his new stepmother, but the two must learn to work together and respect each other if they are to shed light on Owen’s disappearance – and what they find is nothing. that they might have guessed. The plot is not lacking here. And while the detective abilities of the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law’s team stretch credibility, and Hannah’s ultimate solution is somewhat questionable, Dave focuses on growing his characters and their relationship. is nuanced and credible enough to win.

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