Total ChaosTotal Chaos by Jean-Claude Izzo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first in a trilogy set in Marseilles. Izzo’s Marseilles takes the city off my list of places to visit. The town, dark, gritty, with a raging undercurrent of bigotry, however, provides fertile soil for a crime thriller. A flawed protagonist moves through the plot struggling with his past and his present with a detail for the internal life of his character that seems more the norm with European writers.

Hits: Marseilles provides a gritty setting and becomes a character int he story; the well-developed interior life of the protagonist; a twisting plot that will keep you guessing

Misses: The plot involves a large number of characters who, after a time, I started to feel like I was watching a football match (pick the shape of your ball) with endless substitutions until I didn’t have any room left on my scorecard. If you want to completely get this plot — who did exactly what, when, where and why — you’ll need a whiteboard handy for keeping track of the players.


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