The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre, is a fascinating novel, which is read with big eyes, cocked up ears and the soul in your mouth.
Target audience? Everybody who loves the beginning of the 20th century, those who are passionate about history, those who adore France, but also those who appreciate an agile, flowing and extremely thrilling literary style.
Where and when? France, right after the First World War ended.
Strong points? The sensational characters, the gripping writing, the dashing and stunning rhythm, without falling into the trap of ordinary suspense. The traumas of those who survived the First World War combined with a huge and flabbergasting swindle, but also with a terrifying and rapacious greed build up toward an exceptional reading.
Weak points? I don’t remember any as a matter of fact.
Favorite characters? Albert, Edouard and Pradelle (whose infamy and abjection hit you so hard that you can barely stand).
Convince me! The swindle around the cemeteries will make your jaw drop. You will recognize a special type of cynicism and foul play, which are easily found in nowadays society, too!
Bonus? The detective like thread combined with drops of philosophy on life turn this book into something unique, almost impossible to duplicate.
Stars? 9 plus.