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I’d heard quite a bit of praise for Patrick Senécal, even before I knew that the English version of Les Sept Jours de Talion was going to be released. To be honest, I’m surprised that it took this long for one of his books to come to the English audience. With the comparisons to King and Nesbo, my expectations rose even higher.
Without getting into the plot, Seven Days is a thought-provoking book. What is a monster? Just because you feel justified in your actions, does it make them the right thing to do? How do you deal with pain and loss? Do you have to forgive to forget?
Senécal wove his scenario together to address all of these themes. He created any parent’s nightmare: the abduction and murder of a young child. I found myself thinking about cases that I remember from the past; what would I do in Dr. Hamel’s place?
Seven Days goes to some brutally dark places; could I/would I go there if that happened to my family? Was it brutal and dark enough compared to the actions of the villain? These are some hard questions to answer.
I love a dark and twisted police procedural. Some of my favorite fictional characters are detectives with an albatross around their necks. This is the point that I felt Seven Days was most lacking. While Hervé Mercure did have a troubled past, it just didn’t feel as overwhelming as I have seen in the past, and expected from Senécal.
Seven Days is a great introduction to Senécal’s work. It is a stand-alone that is entertaining, thought-provoking and cringe-worthy.