am 17. Juni 1999
Mayhem, originally published as Mirage in the United States, is the beginning chapter of the continuing series of an unusual partnership in an unusual time. It is December 1942, in Nazi occupied Paris. Our heroes, Jean-Louis St Cyr of the Surete and Herman Kohler of the Gestapo, are called to a rural area near the Fontaineblue forest where the body of an attractive young man was discovered. The Nazis suspect the crime to be Resistance related and want it solved speedily or threaten to send our Herman to the Russian Front. Our detective pair discovers that clandestine sex, family secrets, and greed are the motives rather than the assumed patriotism. This series has been a favorite of mine. Janes's descriptions of the culture of scarcity in everyday Paris and in the historically accurate scenes of Parisians coping with the defeat are so vivid that the reader feels the cold, the hunger, and the dark. However, this particular novel fails to work as well as the sequels. Try a later book in the series.