Annecy, France 1952. Satordi Biertempfel, a private detective who has worked hundreds of cases, is approached by local tavern owner Haulmier Guloe with a request to track and bring home his promiscuous runaway daughter, Ambrielle, who’d taken off with almost all of the money that Guloe has to his name. However, once Ambrielle has been located by Satordi at a brothel in Grenoble, a much more sordid and shocking version of events emerges. Ambrielle claims that not only did the money that she took with her when she left rightfully belong to her, but that it was her father who forced her into an ill-spent life and daily degradation. Determined to stay out of her father’s grasp, Ambrielle flees Grenoble and Satordi to stay with her distant relatives in Bordeaux. In Bordeaux, a mysterious box with contents related to a murder case from 1941 involving a beautiful young woman by the name of Yria Dane is discovered by Ambrielle’s cousin. Shortly after this discovery, Ambrielle’s family members begin to die, turning Ambrielle’s safe haven into a place of terror and despair. Can Satordi connect the dots between Yria Dane’s murder and Ambrielle and Haulmier Guloe’s present day stories before too many innocent lives are taken, or will this be the one case that eludes the wily and shrewd detective forever?
A routine missing-person case transforms into something terrifying in Kade’s mystery set in Annecy, France, in 1952. Brothers Satordi and Marin Biertempfel have worked as PIs in their town for 13 years, with hundreds of successful investigations to their credit. Satordi’s meeting with a new prospective client, tavern-owner Haulmier Guloe, leads the detective to expect another success. Haulmier’s 17-year-old daughter, Ambrielle, who has worked as a prostitute, has vanished, “carrying a massive stash of stolen loot she’d taken from her father.” After getting Haulmier’s assurance that he won’t harm Ambrielle, Satordi accepts the assignment. The inquiry becomes more complicated when an old missing-person case gets renewed attention. Press coverage of Orisia Laroque’s vow to continue searching for her sister, Yria Dane, who went missing in 1941, leads Ambrielle to look into that disappearance. Despite some odd phrasing (“I look to Haulmier, then conduct a reply”), Kade manages to sustain interest and generate some genuinely spooky moments. (BookLife)