The Critic by Peter May

Today Mandie continues her Enzo files catch up with a review of The Critic by Peter May. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 30 May 2013
Publisher: riverrun

About the Book


An unsolved case.

Gil Petty, America’s most celebrated wine critic, is found strung up in a vineyard, dressed in the ceremonial robes of the Order of the Divine Bottle and pickled in wine.

An un-cracked code.

For forensic expert Enzo Macleod, the key to this unsolved murder lies in decoding Petty’s mysterious reviews – which could make or break a vineyard’s reputation.

An uncorked criminal.

Enzo finds that beneath the tranquil façade of French viticulture lurks a back-stabbing community riddled with rivalry – and someone who is ready to stop him even if they have to kill again.

Mandie’s Thoughts

The Critic is the second in the Enzo Macleod series and he is still working on the unsolved crimes. This time he is looking into the disappearance of wine critic Gil Petty. One thing is for sure the police would rather he stays well out of it as the last thing they want is an amateur solving something they failed to. When his body turns up strung up in a vineyard the how is quite evident but for a critic that held the fate of many a vineyard in his opinions of their wine finding the who is going to be a whole different ball game as there are quite a few suspects. 

Enzo is once again joined by his assistant/student Nicole who is a whizz on computers and his daughter Sophie and her partner also turn up although I am not sure if they are there to help or just to take in the scenery and the vineyards. Surrounded by so many distractions it is starting to look doubtful if he will get to the bottom of the mystery or not. When a second body turns up then they are also stuck trying to work out the connections between the two victims. 

I am starting to warm to Enzo even when he is not always nice to those closest to him and he thinks that he has a right to interfere in their lives. If that is not enough his own life is a mess. What he is good at though is working out the clues put in front of him and added with his determination to get to the truth then he cant go wrong really. I also love the interactions between Enzo and Sophie, they clearly love each other but I can’t help feel that she likes to wind him up deliberately if only to try to get him to lighten up and start to enjoy himself

Throughout his investigations he manages to endanger himself not only with the killer of Gil Petty but also a mystery person who clearly has nothing to do with this particular case. It is this encounter that actually provided me with an emphatic “nooooo” moment that I am not sure I can forgive the author for right now. 

Peter May certainly transports the reader to the heart of the wine country with the locations and the true motive for the killings is not one you would expect but lays open old wounds that have clearly never healed despite the passage of time.

With the book ending on a bit of a mystery you can bet I am going to continue to play catch up with this series to find out what case he is on next and if the person out to get him is revealed.

About the Author

Peter May was born and raised in Scotland. He was an award-winning journalist at the age of twenty-one and a published novelist at twenty-six. When his first book was adapted as a major drama series for the BBC, he quit journalism and during the high-octane fifteen years that followed, became one of Scotland’s most successful television dramatists. He created three prime-time drama series, presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland as script editor and producer, and worked on more than 1,000 episodes of ratings-topping drama before deciding to leave television to return to his first love, writing novels.

He has won several literature awards in France; received several English-language awards, including the Barry Award for The Blackhouse, the first volume in his internationally bestselling Lewis Trilogy; and in 2014 he won the ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year award for Entry Island. Peter now lives in southwest France with his wife, writer Janice Hally.

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