Sunday, April 9, 2017

Heart Collector

Heart Collector, originally published as Au Cœur du Solstice, is a crime thriller by French author Jacques Vandroux (translated by Wendeline Hardenberg).  I wish the translation hadn't completely altered the title, because the original title makes much more sense.  That is neither here nor there, though, and any other slight awkwardness in the writing that could be a product of translation didn't detract from the story, to me.

In Heart Collector, we follow police captain Nadia Barka as she investigates a series of abductions (and subsequent murders) of young women in Grenoble, a city nestled at the foot of the French Alps.  Assisting in the investigation is Julien, a computer technician who, for some reason, is having visions of the victims just hours prior to their deaths.  Despite knowing how crazy it will make him seem, Julien brings his information to the police, where he is obviously met with skepticism.

Capt. Barka feels she has nothing to lose from following Julien's tips, however, as there are few enough viable leads for this case, and some of the details of the murders bring to mind a case from her past that still haunts her - the murder of another young woman who had been seemingly tortured extensively before being killed.  Not to mention the fact that these particular murders are especially gruesome - the victims' hearts are nowhere to be found, having been expertly removed.  It becomes a race against time when Julien has a vision of yet another woman:  will he and the police reach her before her heart is removed as well?


I got this book through Amazon's Kindle First program, and I'm really glad I selected it as my free ebook for that month.  When I read the premise, I wasn't sure what to expect, since this seems to be marketed more as mystery/suspense/crime fiction rather than as, like...urban fantasy or something, so it was anyone's guess whether the 6th sense element would end up being too corny, or if it would even work within the context of this story at all.