Crime and spy thriller author... and a few other things besides.
'Reading . . . is one of life's quiet pleasures'.
Inspector Lucas Rocco
France, the 1960s. It's a time of great change, not least for tough crime fighter Inspector Lucas Rocco. Taken out of his home base of Clichy, Paris, as part of a nationwide 'initiative' to broaden police operations, he finds himself in the small village of Poissons-Les-Marais, Picardie... and answerable to his former army C.O. now police Commissaire Francois Massin - last seen by Rocco cowering in a foxhole during France's bloody war in Indochina.
Rocco's new patch might be rural, but it's certainly not uneventful. Apart from answering to an officer who doesn't trust him, and fighting constant interference from the Interior Ministry in Paris, he finds that crime and violence is the same anywhere, whether on the elegant streets of the French capital or the murky backwaters and deadly marshes of the Somme Valley.
DEATH AT THE OLD ASYLUM - A NEW ROCCO NOVEL
Picardie, 1964. Three Moroccan nationals are shot dead with precision, a cold-blooded execution, one bullet each. To Inspector Lucas Rocco, it's a mystery. Why them and why here?
A short time later, he happens upon two police officers who have been assaulted by an enraged motorist, one of them seriously. The unapologetic assailant, found to have an unregistered gun in his possession, claims to be the secretary of a high-profile and influential Parisian lawyer, Guy De Lancourt.
The two cases seemingly have nothing in common. But on closer examination Rocco feels something isn't quite right. Just what lies beneath De Lancourt's carefully-cultivated public persona? And what secrets are hidden at Les Cyprès, the heavily-guarded former mental asylum De Lancourt has made his home?
"This book is like an oasis in the desert. Another fast moving story of criminality in 1960s rural France." Frances - Amazon reader
"Excellent characters and plot and difficult to put down once started."
David Hilton - Amazon reader
ROCCO AND THE PRICE OF LIES - Book 6
Murder by suicide? Three senior government officials - a judge, a politician, and an ex-police chief - are all dead by their own hands.
Inspector Lucas Rocco finds himself once more working for the Interior Ministry: undertaking an investigation meant to avoid a government scandal and ignoring unpalatable truths.
He's soon convinced that a common denominator must be at play when he uncovers signs of top-level fraud, theft and deception.
And when he narrowly survives an attempt on his life, he realises that he has nothing to lose by bringing the truth out into the open - whatever the risks.
"A seriously enjoyable crime fiction. It’s engaging, fast-paced and offers the thriller effect during the last 40 pages."
ROCCO AND THE NIGHTINGALE - Book 5
When a minor Paris criminal is found stabbed in the neck on a country lane in Picardie it looks like
another case for Inspector Lucas Rocco. But instead he is called off to watch over a Gabonese
government minister, hiding out in France following a coup. Meanwhile, Rocco discovers that there
is a contract on his head taken out by an Algerian gang leader with a personal grudge against him.
Against orders, he follows some leads on the original murder case, discovering as he does so that
the threats against him are real. The minister he is protecting is kidnapped, and it soon becomes
apparent that the murder, the threats and the minister's kidnap are all interconnected...
Previous comments about Lucas Rocco:
“The result is pure joy, a crime novel that deserves to be ranked with the best”. Daily Mail.
"… A gritty, down to earth detective based in a French provincial town… you could almost taste the hot buttered croissants and smell the Gitanes on every page. A very exciting and hard to put down thriller."
Terry Halligan - Euro Crime Reviews
Please note: The first 4 titles in this series have been rebranded and republished with new cover images.
Death at the Clos du Lac - Book 4.
The exclusive Clos du Lac sanitarium. A man is standing in the therapy pool. But he's not there for his health; someone has chained him to the bottom and left him to die.
Lucas Rocco believes it's an elaborate method of execution. But nobody seems to have heard or seen anything, the staff are resolutely unhelpful - or dead - and ministry officials sent from Paris to 'assist' try to impede Rocco's investigations. It's soon clear the Clos du Lac is no ordinary place, and holds secrets the authorities want left hidden. And a high-level kidnapping mounted in an attempt to derail France's new trade agreements with China means Rocco now faces threats from more than one quarter ...one of them a rogue government assassin.
"You have to love Rocco… France’s answer to Jack Reacher – tall, dark, broad and dedicated to righting wrongs. C’est magnifique’!" Crime Squad.
Death on the Pont Noir - Book 3.
Following a ramming and gun attack on a Citroen DS in the middle of open countryside, and a bar brawl involving a group of drunken Englishmen, Rocco is drawn into what seems yet another plot to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle.
But why are Englishmen involved? And who set fire to an ex-army truck with a body inside?
Rocco finds himself pulled several ways while attempting to investigate events. And this time, he's accused of taking bribes and even being part of the assassination plot. Suspended from duty, he has very little time to intervene and stop what could be a cataclysmic event for France... and for his own continued freedom.
"Rocco is every bit as strong as Martin Walker's Bruno Courreges... with an authentic sense of place. I'm extremely glad this is a series and will certainly be back for the next." Linda Wilson - ReviewingtheEvidence.com
Death on the Rive Nord - Book 2.
1963 - Picardie, France. A group of illegal workers is dropped in the dead of night by a deserted stretch of canal near Poissons-les-Marais. One of them is a killer.
For Lucas Rocco, it's the start of a case involving people smuggling, police and corporate corruption, a woman and child in peril and a vicious gang leader with one thing on his mind: the death of Lucas Rocco.
“…a darker and subtler novel than Death on the Marais… The novel is ingeniously plotted and works up to an unexpected climax… A thoroughly enjoyable read from an accomplished crime writer… “ Historical Novel Society
Death on the Marais - Book 1.
When, on his first day, Rocco finds a murdered woman wearing a Gestapo uniform lying in the local British military cemetery, he knows life will be far from boring.
But when the body is removed by order of a magistrate from the police mortuary before Rocco can finish his investigation, he traces the paperwork to the dead woman’s father, war hero and big-time industrialist, Philippe Bayer-Berbier. Yet Berbier insists that his daughter is very much alive.
Following an attempt on one villager’s life and the disappearance of another, Rocco uncovers a series of connections with Berbier and his activities in the SOE and the wartime Resistance. In spite of an official wall of bureaucracy and a strained relationship with his boss, Commissaire Massin, he sets out to uncover what has led to the woman's death... and why Berbier will go to any lengths - even murder - to stop his investigation.
"... excellent murder mystery. Breathtakingly good." Books Monthly
Haven't yet tried the Lucas Rocco series? Start with this Kindle novella.
Rocco and the Snow Angel
A former village priest shot dead execution-style in a snow-covered field re-opens memories of a wartime scandal around the villages of Poissons-les-Marais and Fouillmont, when young infatuation led to a spate of coldly efficient assassinations.
But who is responsible for this particular killing? And why so long after the event? For Inspector Rocco, it means pushing aside the veil surrounding old Resistance activities and fighting dangerous political connections to track down a deadly, long-range killer with the ability to hide in open countryside.
"Truly rivals the great Simenon's Maigret for style and content. Breathtakingly good.."