Martin Vander Weyer

Vichy Business

Cold Winter in Bordeaux


Quartet Books 239pp £12 order from our bookshop

France under Nazi occupation and the Vichy government was a nation of compromised loyalties, whispered suspicions and corrupted morals – peculiarly fertile territory for Superintendent Jean Lannes, the downbeat hero of Allan Massie’s series of wartime romans policiers, of which this is the third. Massie combines deeply researched knowledge of the Vichy era – the subject of what he and many of his fans regard as his best early work, A Question of Loyalties (1989) – with the mature skill and worldly perspective of a septuagenarian with two dozen novels to his name. This trilogy (the other volumes are Death in Bordeaux and Dark Summer in Bordeaux) is his late masterpiece, and a more substantial achievement in every way than the casual browser might expect to find on the detective-thriller shelf.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,