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What has happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher who trained some of Frances best and brightest at the École Nationale d'Administration vanished ten years ago. The mystery inspires a bet, one that Scottish biologist Enzo Macleod can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to an old case. What has happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher who trained some of Frances best and brightest at the École Nationale d'Administration vanished ten years ago. The mystery inspires a bet, one that Scottish biologist Enzo Macleod can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to an old case.


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What has happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher who trained some of Frances best and brightest at the École Nationale d'Administration vanished ten years ago. The mystery inspires a bet, one that Scottish biologist Enzo Macleod can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to an old case. What has happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher who trained some of Frances best and brightest at the École Nationale d'Administration vanished ten years ago. The mystery inspires a bet, one that Scottish biologist Enzo Macleod can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to an old case.

30 review for Extraordinary People

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jaline

    This is the first book in a six-part series with Enzo MacLeod the main character. He grew up in Scotland, son of an Italian mother and a Scottish father and had a successful career as a Forensic Scientist with a wife and young daughter. A series of events led him to France where he was Professor of Biology in an institute in Cahors, near Paris. Twenty years later, a wager throws him head first into a 10-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of a well-known, highly intelligent, and very pop This is the first book in a six-part series with Enzo MacLeod the main character. He grew up in Scotland, son of an Italian mother and a Scottish father and had a successful career as a Forensic Scientist with a wife and young daughter. A series of events led him to France where he was Professor of Biology in an institute in Cahors, near Paris. Twenty years later, a wager throws him head first into a 10-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of a well-known, highly intelligent, and very popular man with connections in high places in government. This is a well mapped-out and fascinating mystery involving a series of trunks holding various obscure clues that Enzo must put together to lead him to the next trunk of clues. I enjoyed the treasure hunt that ensued, and how Enzo and the people he recruited worked with the clues in the trunks to determine where the next one would be. Eventually the mystery is solved where it began – in the catacombs of Paris where the action and dangers accelerated to a resounding crescendo. I enjoyed this book a lot for its story, although I have not yet warmed up completely to Enzo. At one point he thinks to himself, (not a direct quote): “Here I am 50 years old and feel like when I was 15.” He meant awkward, mostly, but it was more than that. His emotional maturity, although it did seem to grow through the novel, felt adolescent to me at times. This was a surprise because it is not the kind of lead character I would normally associate with Peter May’s writing. However, having said that, I do expect to see more maturity and depth to this character as the series progresses, and I look forward to the next one with great anticipation. This was a buddy read with my Goodreads friend Sue D who also enjoys Peter May’s writing, and I very much enjoyed our discussions as we read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kylie D

    I had fun with this one, racing around France solving the clues as to how Jacques Gaillard disappeared. Well worth the read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Moonlight glances off the shiny surface of the cobbles worn smooth by the feet of holy men. His own feet slip and clatter as he scrambles through an alley between buttresses, heart squeezed by the hand of desperation. A green bin spins away in the darkness, spilling its decaying contents across the yard. The door ahead of him lies ajar, the corridor beyond bathed in the ghostly light of the moon, angling between tower and apse to slant through frosted glass arches. He sees a sign and a EXCERPT: Moonlight glances off the shiny surface of the cobbles worn smooth by the feet of holy men. His own feet slip and clatter as he scrambles through an alley between buttresses, heart squeezed by the hand of desperation. A green bin spins away in the darkness, spilling its decaying contents across the yard. The door ahead of him lies ajar, the corridor beyond bathed in the ghostly light of the moon, angling between tower and apse to slant through frosted glass arches. He sees a sign and a red arrow - Vitraux du Cloitre - and turns the other way, past the sacristy. The door to the church is open, and he is almost sucked through into the vast, glowing stillness. The stained glass rises all around, its colours turned to black by the dead light of the nearly full moon. His panic fills the vaulted vastness with every painful breath. To his right the statue of the Virgin Mary cradling the Baby Jesus watches impassively, impervious now to the prayers he has offered her so piously over so many years. The neighbouring chapel has been given over to noticeboards pasted with announcements that he will never read. He hears the footsteps following in his wake, and breath rasping in lungs that are not his own. He flees along the north ambulatory; past the chapel of St Paul, the chapel of St Joseph and the Souls in Purgatory. At the end of the church, ninety silvered organ pipes rise in shining columns to the figure of Christ Resuscitated, flanked by two angels. He wants to scream 'Help me!' But he knows they cannot. He turns beneath the nine metre span of the only remaining screen in all of Paris, a delicate tracery of stone carving and spiral staircase curling around slender columns soaring into blackness, and he stops beneath Christ on the cross, a calvary taken from the chapel of the Ècole Polytechnique to replace a predecessor destroyed during the Revolution. How often he has knelt here, before the altar, to receive His flesh and drink His blood. He stops here now, and kneels again for one last time, the footsteps almost upon him. And as he rises and turns, the last thing he sees at the far end of the nave, before red turns to black, is a sign commanding him to SILENCE. ABOUT 'DRY BONES' (Enzo #1): What has happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher who trained some of France's best and brightest at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration as future Prime Ministers and Presidents vanished ten years ago, presumably from Paris. Talk about your cold case. The mystery inspires a bet, one that Enzo Macleod, a biologist teaching in Toulouse instead of pursuing a brilliant career in forensics back home in Scotland can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to an old case. Enzo comes to Paris to meet journalist Roger Raffin, the author of a book on seven celebrated unsolved murders, the assumption being that Gaillard is dead. He needs Raffin's notes. And armed with these, he begins his quest. It quickly has him touring landmarks such as the Paris catacombs and a chateau in Champagne, digging up relics and bones. Yes, Enzo finds Jacques Gaillard's head. The artifacts buried with the skull set him to interpreting the clues they provide and to following in someone's footsteps--maybe more than one someone--after the rest of Gaillard. And to reviewing some ancient and recent history. As with a quest, it's as much discovery as detection. Enzo proves to be an ace investigator, scientific and intuitive, and, for all his missteps, one who hits his goals including a painful journey toward greater self-awareness. This book was previously published as Extraordinary People. MY THOUGHTS: I love Peter May's writing. He paints vivid pictures with his words. He evokes emotions. He is a master of his craft. The French setting is attractive to me, and we certainly visit many attractions during the unravelling of the clues. These clues are in the form of physical riddles left by the killer for reasons which do not become clear until the crime is solved. As the reader, I had zero chance of interpreting these clues. They were far too obscure, so I simply settled in and enjoyed the ride. But between Enzo and his student assistant, aided by the Internet and forensics, logic and plain good luck, they triumph. There is action and suspense along with engaging, if not always likeable characters. The crime itself is both gruesome and bizarre. This is a fast paced thriller with twists and turns that kept me on my toes. I didn’t come anywhere near guessing the identity of the killer. An enjoyable, challenging read. I already have book 2, The Critic, lined up to read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.3 #DryBones @authorpetermay #authorpetermay #audiobook #crime #contemporaryfiction #murdermystery #suspense #thriller THE AUTHOR: Peter May was born on December 20, 1951 in Glasgow, Scotland. Even from a young age, Peter wanted to be a novelist. He started out his writing career in journalism and won his first award, the Fraser Award, in 1973 when he was only 21 years old. For this he was labeled Scotland’s Young Journalist of the Year. Peter completed his first novel at the age of 26 titled The Reporter, which was later adapted to a British television series in 1978 called The Standard. He met his wife, Janice Hally, when he was working on the television series, Take the High Road. They were married in 1990 and are currently residing in France. DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of Dry Bones (Enzo #1) by Peter May, narrated by Simon Vance, published by Blackstone Audio, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”He failed to return to his desk at the end of the August holidays. It caused a huge stir at the time. The papers were full of it for weeks. But the police made no progress at all. And, as always happens with these matters, the press found other things to write about, and the curious case of the disappearing Jacques Gaillard gradually slipped from public view. That was ten years ago. It still crops up from time to time. An article here, a feature piece there. But no one has ever shed new light o ”He failed to return to his desk at the end of the August holidays. It caused a huge stir at the time. The papers were full of it for weeks. But the police made no progress at all. And, as always happens with these matters, the press found other things to write about, and the curious case of the disappearing Jacques Gaillard gradually slipped from public view. That was ten years ago. It still crops up from time to time. An article here, a feature piece there. But no one has ever shed new light on what happened to him.” Enzo Macleod has for years been teaching biology at the university in Toulouse instead of pursuing his brilliant career as a forensic pathologist in Scotland. He was derailed by his love for a woman that had him leaving one family in Scotland to start a new one in France. He met the love of his life, and that lightning-strike moment has a tendency to create a before-and-after in most people’s lives who are fortunate enough to ever meet their soulmate. When the unusual opportunity arises for him to go to Paris to investigate the famed disappearance and presumed death of the brilliant, high flying academic and political advisor Jacques Gaillard, he jumps at the chance. To say the investigation is cold is an understatement, but the challenge might be exactly what he needs to get his career off the side track and back on the fast track. The investigative journalist Roger Raffin is the one who has tempted him, with a sizable bet, to brush off the dust from this old case and apply his special skills to finding out the truth. The truth is, Macleod could use the money from the bet, and he has another reason to want to come to Paris to work for a while. His daughter from his first marriage is working in Paris, and he wants to make an effort to reconnect with her. His daughter from his second marriage isn’t so sure she likes the idea. The thought of his two daughters meeting and becoming best friends proves to be more difficult than he could have imagined. The clues in the ten year old disappearance of Jacques Gaillard prove to be much easier to follow than the clues to unlocking the cold heart of his spurned daughter. When he discovers the head of Gaillard buried with objects that provide clues for finding the rest of him, Macleod is led on a merry chase all over Paris, including the catacombs...no better place to hide bones than down there with hundreds of years of accumulated bones. His efforts do not enamor him with the Parisian police, and soon, even the government, embarrassed by this foreigner’s success, is warning him from taking his investigation further. Is it just embarrassment or is there some sort of bizarre conspiracy behind all of this? Enzo has a research assistant named Nicole, a sexy, bodacious farm girl with a gifted mind who is bathing him in pheromones that he finds difficult to resist. There is also Charlotte, who is the first woman since his second wife to make him feel all gooey inside. She is the most recent lover of his fellow investigator Raffin, which provides added tension to an already frayed relationship. He knows he is being followed and wonders how far the government will go to keep him from learning the truth. On top of all that, he has the two daughters, one who is vying for his attention and the other who wants him to drop dead. His life might be unduly complicated, but his mind is more alive than it has been in a long time, and the chase is becoming as beguiling as the charms of the alluring Charlotte. What is especially fascinating about reading this book is the amount of specific geography Peter May provides. I pulled up a map of Paris streets and was able to follow along with Enzo as he moved about the city. With Google Earth, I could even pull up the streets and see exactly what Enzo was seeing. With travel being impossible for most of us these days, the extra effort made me feel as if I were actually on a trip to Paris. One involving a murder most foul. There are six books in the series, and I have the second one, The Critic, nestled on my shelves, ready to be plucked up whenever I feel like joining Enzo for another investigation. As much as I enjoyed this one, I won’t wait for very long. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/

  5. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I kept having the odd feeling with this book that it was not the first in a series and that I had missed out on some important character development in a previous book. However this was not the case and it is indeed the first in a series. The main character, Enzo, has already enjoyed an amazing life with two daughters by different mothers, a divorced wife, a dead mistress and a drastic career change resulting in moving to another country. All this before our book even starts. Anyway the story mov I kept having the odd feeling with this book that it was not the first in a series and that I had missed out on some important character development in a previous book. However this was not the case and it is indeed the first in a series. The main character, Enzo, has already enjoyed an amazing life with two daughters by different mothers, a divorced wife, a dead mistress and a drastic career change resulting in moving to another country. All this before our book even starts. Anyway the story moves on and there is a fair bit of action, a lot of researching ever more complicated clues and a reasonably interesting conclusion. Enzo is interesting and likeable but in the end Bertrand takes the prize for the strongest, fastest and totally best character. I found it to be an enjoyable read as long as you do not dig too deeply into it and I will be reading book 2.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trucido

    Competently written, but full of the improbable leaps of logic that bedevil a lot of wilder detective fiction. The premise is completely mad and entirely too much of the book is spent on computer searches and long descriptions of shapely graduate students clicking things whilst oversized Scotsmen galumph about discovering precisely the right clues. It sort of worked when Sherlock Holmes could condemn a man to death on the basis of his trouser cuffs and then force a confession by sheer weight of Competently written, but full of the improbable leaps of logic that bedevil a lot of wilder detective fiction. The premise is completely mad and entirely too much of the book is spent on computer searches and long descriptions of shapely graduate students clicking things whilst oversized Scotsmen galumph about discovering precisely the right clues. It sort of worked when Sherlock Holmes could condemn a man to death on the basis of his trouser cuffs and then force a confession by sheer weight of character, but it's less convincing when Enzo seems to know exactly which stretch of French sewer to search on the basis of a blurry photograph of a medal. The book would also be completely impossible in a world in which criminals were not compelled to leave full confessions in the substance of their crimes.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    This is the first book in 'The Enzo Files' by Peter May. I enjoy reading Peter May's work and decided to start this series which are the only books I haven't read by him. I love the way he writes and he has this way where he actually writes excellent novels but at the same time manages to teach you things. I had previously read his series based in China where I learnt so much about the culture as well as enjoying the series. This time the series is based in France so I expect more of the same. I This is the first book in 'The Enzo Files' by Peter May. I enjoy reading Peter May's work and decided to start this series which are the only books I haven't read by him. I love the way he writes and he has this way where he actually writes excellent novels but at the same time manages to teach you things. I had previously read his series based in China where I learnt so much about the culture as well as enjoying the series. This time the series is based in France so I expect more of the same. I found this book a good solid read and a good foundation for the rest of the series. While the book wasn't a classic it did manage to set the scene for the series and introduce the major characters. The series focuses around a Scottish-Italian living in Paris, Enzo Macleod who is a forensic biology professor at a university. He has a wager with his journalist friend to solve a cold case involving the death of celebrity politician Jacques Gaillard and starts discovering parts of Gaillard's body, piece by piece. The case is a mystery of puzzles and hidden clues similar to the Dan Brown style. Not a great book but a good platform and a promise of more to come. I fully intend to read the other five novels in the series in the coming months.

  8. 5 out of 5

    HBalikov

    “You’re familiar with our legal system, then?” “I have lived here for twenty years, Minister.” “Of course you have. Left your wife and family in Scotland to set up a concubinage in Cahors with a young lady who died giving birth to your daughter. Sophie, isn’t it?” The fact that she felt no need for subtlety in conveying that she had done her homework on him left Enzo feeling a little uneasy. “Yes.” They want him off the case; the “powers that be” are embarrassed that Enzo Macleod has turned a con “You’re familiar with our legal system, then?” “I have lived here for twenty years, Minister.” “Of course you have. Left your wife and family in Scotland to set up a concubinage in Cahors with a young lady who died giving birth to your daughter. Sophie, isn’t it?” The fact that she felt no need for subtlety in conveying that she had done her homework on him left Enzo feeling a little uneasy. “Yes.” They want him off the case; the “powers that be” are embarrassed that Enzo Macleod has turned a convenient disappearance into a confirmed murder. Now they intend to bring the investigation under the government umbrella and assure that there won’t be any untidy information leaks. Macleod doesn’t intend to let this happen. He has a bet that he can solve this case….and he needs both the money and the satisfaction of doing so. Enzo Macleod’s approach to investigation is somewhat unique. “So what makes you think you are qualified to pass an opinion on anything today?” “I was trained as a forensic biologist, Monsieur Raffin. Seven years with Strathclyde police in Glasgow, the last two as head of biology, covering everything from blood pattern interpretation at major crime scenes, to analysis of hairs and fibers. I was involved in early DNA databasing, interpretation of damage to clothing, as well as detailed examination of murder scenes. Oh, and did I mention? I am one of only four people in the UK to have trained as a Byford scientist—which also makes me an expert on serious serial crime analysis.” “Made you an expert, Monsieur Macleod. Things have changed.” “I’ve kept myself apprised of all the latest scientific developments in the field.” “So why aren’t you still doing it?” “Personal reasons.” Yes, Macleod comes with a lot of baggage that includes his personality, living arrangements and a tendency to rely on alcohol for peace of mind. When the story opens, he is living in Cahors, a town in south-central France and teaching. We are given to understand that he has recently accepted a bet with the local Préfet’s that he could be able to solve a ten year old cold-case. But he could never have foreseen that it would lead to this kind of adventure. This novel is an investigative procedural that occasionally morphs into a thriller. It tackles French culture, politics and day-to-day living in Paris and the south of France. Without revealing the plot, it is has some of the best aspects of the tradition “cozy” mystery salted with bits of puzzles, romance and sexual situations for entertainment. It worked well for me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    I have enjoyed reading all of the Peter May books that I have read so far; in particular The Lewis triology series. This was the first book in The Enzo Files. It would be about a 3 1/2 star rating for me. Quite a different style from what I have previously read of his, and I would agree with some of the other comments that I have read stating that it had a bit of a Divinci style to. I will probably read the next in the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Number one in the Enzo McLeod Series. This is a meticulously crafted whodunit. Being so well crafted there is no headlong rush into the unknown. The pace is necessarily slow giving the reader time to absorb the many clues. Clues that will take Enzo and friends the length and breadth of France. Enzo is no Saint; he abandoned his wife and a daughter in Scotland to follow the love of his life to France. His new partner died in child birth leaving Enzo with another daughter. Enzo, with his French daug Number one in the Enzo McLeod Series. This is a meticulously crafted whodunit. Being so well crafted there is no headlong rush into the unknown. The pace is necessarily slow giving the reader time to absorb the many clues. Clues that will take Enzo and friends the length and breadth of France. Enzo is no Saint; he abandoned his wife and a daughter in Scotland to follow the love of his life to France. His new partner died in child birth leaving Enzo with another daughter. Enzo, with his French daughter, now lives in France permanently. By pure coincidence Enzo’s Scottish daughter is now living in Paris but she has made it perfectly clear that she wants nothing to do with her father or her half sister. Whilst still living in the UK Enzo was one of that country’s leading forensic pathologist. Now in France he is no longer a forensic pathologist but now teaches that subject at university. About ten years ago one of Frances leading intellectuals disappeared without a trace. Friends of Enzo bet him that solving the mystery would beyond him. Enzo takes the bet and it’s not long before Enzo proves that the missing intellectual is not just missing but is indeed dead. The police have been trying for the last ten years to solve this mystery and are none too impressed with Enzo’s discovery. The police tell Enzo to take a back seat and let the professionals take over. But Enzo is not about to let that happen. With each clue that Enzo unravels someone ends up dead. What Enzo doesn’t realise is that he, or someone close to him, could be the next to die. If this is a bit slow in places it’s still a very satisfying read. I look forward to reading the further exploits of Enzo McLeod and his daughters. Recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kylie H

    This is the first book I have read by Peter May and I really enjoyed it. Enzo McLeod is a Scot of Italian descent living in France. He is by no means perfect and that makes him more endearing. If you love a good mystery with clues and puzzles and loads of adventure then grab it and read it! As well as a being a good mystery it is also full of interesting facts such as the catacombs, champagne …... A readers feast!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Having set a new plan with my GR friend Jaline, who also enjoys reading books written by Peter May, we have begun his Enzo series starting with Extraordinary People. This shows promise of being an enjoyable, if lengthy, enterprise given how many books and series May has produced! In Extraordinary People, we meet a middle-aged man, Scots but living in France, a college biology professor who used to be a well known and respected forensic scientist in his native country, a man with grown daughters, Having set a new plan with my GR friend Jaline, who also enjoys reading books written by Peter May, we have begun his Enzo series starting with Extraordinary People. This shows promise of being an enjoyable, if lengthy, enterprise given how many books and series May has produced! In Extraordinary People, we meet a middle-aged man, Scots but living in France, a college biology professor who used to be a well known and respected forensic scientist in his native country, a man with grown daughters, one Scotch, one French. This is part of the background for this story and series. In Extraordinary People, Enzo has made a bet that he can solve a long cold case, the disappearance of a prominent social and cultural figure some 10 years before. There is no evidence of a crime but there is also no evidence of life in those 10 years. What may have happened? Who would have been involved and why? Enzo and his small team set to work and he begins using his long-unused skills to eke out clues and information. There is unexpected opposition and there are new people who may be friends or foes. This is eventually a matter of following a series of very odd clues to a harrowing conclusion. I enjoyed this on two levels, as the start of a new-to-me mystery series and as a look at part of the evolution in style of a writer I’ve come to admire. There are examples of his strength in descriptive prose throughout the book. And the pacing builds to a fever pitch by the end. One area that was unexpected is May’s treatment of some female characters. Enzo seems to fall quickly into lust and objectifies some of the women around him. He is an immature male socially. This is something I haven’t encountered in later May books such as The Chess Trilogy, something I see that as a major positive development. I’m looking forward to further reading in this and all of May’s series and stand alone books. Rating 3.5* rounded to 4*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy was one of my first crime loves and is still one of my favourite crime series. It goes without saying, therefore, that I’ll gladly read anything he writes. The Enzo Files have been sitting on my to-read list for a very long time. My to-read list is somewhat out of hand meaning some things sit on the list for longer than they really should. At long last, however, I’m working through the Enzo Files. Unfortunately it appears as though I’m working on a ‘read a Peter May book Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy was one of my first crime loves and is still one of my favourite crime series. It goes without saying, therefore, that I’ll gladly read anything he writes. The Enzo Files have been sitting on my to-read list for a very long time. My to-read list is somewhat out of hand meaning some things sit on the list for longer than they really should. At long last, however, I’m working through the Enzo Files. Unfortunately it appears as though I’m working on a ‘read a Peter May book or series every twelve months’ schedule, but it is better late than never. I’ll start by saying this is not my favourite Peter May read. The Lewis Trilogy blew my mind. The first in the series was an easy five stars, with the second and third book being strong four stars. Entry Island was an interesting read, and whilst not up to the standard of the Lewis Trilogy it was still an enjoyable four stars. This first book in the Enzo Files, sits slightly below the four stars of Entry Island. It is still a good read, it is still four stars, but it was not as mind blowing as the Lewis Trilogy or quite as enjoyable as Entry Island. I’ll be continuing on, that is for sure, but the start of the series hasn’t left me as desperate to continue on as I was with my introductory book to the author. Extraordinary People has an interesting premise. A wager has left a forensic expert (that term is used loosely, as he has not really worked in the field for twenty years) on a quest to solve a notorious unsolved crime of France. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, it is. That being said, it isn’t quite as good as I was expecting it to be. The start of the story was rather slow. Peter May is wonderful at setting the scene, yet with this one he is merely flaunting his travelling budget. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the detail, I merely found – at times – there to be more details of the setting than the story taking place. On top of that, our journey down memory lane was disproportionate to the length of the book. I always enjoy a good back-story, I enjoy the moments in which we get to see our main characters outside of their mystery-solving element, yet I don’t want this to overshadow the actual story telling of the mystery. It is a mystery, after all. Despite this, once the story gets going it is interesting. There is a lot by way of coincidence, with things being stretched too far at times, yet you are pulled in. You want to know what is coming next. We’re constantly being given just enough details to keep us interested in where things are heading. We’re constantly on the lookout for links, searching for the ways in which the clues connect. It is farfetched at times but, after a while, I came to accept this and was happy to roll with the tides. Moreover, I would like to point out that I actually fell for the trap set in regards to whodunit. Fortunately, I worked out at a later date that I’d fallen for a trap… yet that does not remove the fact that I fell for it. Any story that manages to knock me down the rabbit hole is a worthwhile read. I’m still disappointed that I worked out who was to blame quite early on, yet it is made better through the fact I was pulled into a trap. Well done Peter May, you caught me again. Overall, another interesting Peter May read. If you’re a fan, I suggest giving this one a read. If you have never read one of his books before I would suggest starting with the Lewis Trilogy, but make sure you come back to this one. He is certainly a worth reading author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Extraordinary People is book 1 of the Enzo Files series by Peter May. Professor Enzo Macleod made a bet to find the killer of Jacques Gaillard using his investigative knowledge and forensic science techniques. With the help of Roger Raffin and one of his young students started to investigate. However, Professor Enzo Macleod did not realise how this case will change his life and his family. The readers of Extraordinary People will continue to follow the twist and turns in Professor Enzo Macleod i Extraordinary People is book 1 of the Enzo Files series by Peter May. Professor Enzo Macleod made a bet to find the killer of Jacques Gaillard using his investigative knowledge and forensic science techniques. With the help of Roger Raffin and one of his young students started to investigate. However, Professor Enzo Macleod did not realise how this case will change his life and his family. The readers of Extraordinary People will continue to follow the twist and turns in Professor Enzo Macleod investigation and would be surprised with the ending of this book. I did enjoy reading Extraordinary People. I like Peter May's written style, and he does a fantastic job in researching to ensure that I get engaged with his plots and characters. Peter May did a great job of portraying new and exciting people for me to follow. I like the way Peter May describes is setting I always feel that I am part of the plot of the book. The readers of Extraordinary People will see the benefits and the role of using forensic science techniques to find answers to unsolved criminal cases. Also, how to investigate a cold case when you are not part of the law enforcement communities. I recommend this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    3.5 stars. Not one of Peter Mays best books but still a good read. I felt as if I was reading a version of the Da Vinci Code in some parts. Let’s hope the second book in the series picks up pace.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Totally agree with another reviewers who says that this book is just too full of impossibly ridiculous clues and long drawn out scenes involving google searches. It's a shame because I've really enjoyed anything else I've read by this author, but I certainly won't be continuing with the Enzo files. Totally agree with another reviewers who says that this book is just too full of impossibly ridiculous clues and long drawn out scenes involving google searches. It's a shame because I've really enjoyed anything else I've read by this author, but I certainly won't be continuing with the Enzo files.

  17. 5 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    I read the entire Lewis Trilogy by Peter May and loved it, but I was hesitant to start this series because I had heard it was a completely different style to the Lewis Trilogy. Picked it up from the library and once I started it, I could not put it down. Yes, it is completely different from the Lewis Trilogy, no flash backs, no dark intense moodiness. However, it is excellent in its own way. The mystery revolves around a bet. Enzo, our sleuth, an ex-pat Scotsman living and teaching in France, ha I read the entire Lewis Trilogy by Peter May and loved it, but I was hesitant to start this series because I had heard it was a completely different style to the Lewis Trilogy. Picked it up from the library and once I started it, I could not put it down. Yes, it is completely different from the Lewis Trilogy, no flash backs, no dark intense moodiness. However, it is excellent in its own way. The mystery revolves around a bet. Enzo, our sleuth, an ex-pat Scotsman living and teaching in France, has wagered that he could solve a cold case crime. Enzo was a forensic expert before remarrying and relocating to France. The case involves a renowned French scholar, Jacques Gaillard, who just completely disappeared. The mystery involves clues planted by the devious killer(s) at the time of Jacques’ disappearance. With the help of an assistant, his daughter and her boyfriend, a girlfriend/psychologist, and a reporter, Enzo travels the width and breadth of France uncovering clues, following false leads and backtracking. Until he comes to a thrilling conclusion. This was really a page turner for me, I loved Enzo and the complicated relationships he had with his daughter(s) and everyone else in his life. The mystery and clues were very well done and indeed as remarked near the end without the internet would have been difficult if not impossible to solve. The white board approach to solving the crime was fun and interesting, it gave insight as to how connections were being made between the clues. I will certainly read more in this series! Fans of the Da Vinci Code style of mystery will surely enjoy it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    After reading the Lewis Trilogy I decide to try one of Peter May's other novels. I thoroughly enjoyed this book although it is quite different from the Lewis books. There is none of the flashbacks that made up a good part of the Lewis books but there was still the rich descriptions of the country and history that seems to be Peter May's trademark. This one is set in France and follows the investigation of a cold case by Enzo McLeod a forensic scientist who is teaching biology at a French univers After reading the Lewis Trilogy I decide to try one of Peter May's other novels. I thoroughly enjoyed this book although it is quite different from the Lewis books. There is none of the flashbacks that made up a good part of the Lewis books but there was still the rich descriptions of the country and history that seems to be Peter May's trademark. This one is set in France and follows the investigation of a cold case by Enzo McLeod a forensic scientist who is teaching biology at a French university. The dialogue was fast paced and I quickly found myself unable to put the book down. Well worth reading.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    A detective story. It was OK to read, but there's definitely room for improvement. I've had it with dumb cops putting clever investigators behind bars. A detective story. It was OK to read, but there's definitely room for improvement. I've had it with dumb cops putting clever investigators behind bars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    A new teccy series for me, set on the continent & so a chance to explore some Parisian culture as well, diversifying into diffo cultures being a favoured thing to my mind when reading. French cop series for me revolve around TV Shows Spiral & Braquo which make the 70’s Sweeney series look tame...... very naive of me to think that a book set in Paris by a Brit would have similar themes running through it....... certainly no parallels here & I found it a tad middle of the road & easy going....... T A new teccy series for me, set on the continent & so a chance to explore some Parisian culture as well, diversifying into diffo cultures being a favoured thing to my mind when reading. French cop series for me revolve around TV Shows Spiral & Braquo which make the 70’s Sweeney series look tame...... very naive of me to think that a book set in Paris by a Brit would have similar themes running through it....... certainly no parallels here & I found it a tad middle of the road & easy going....... The early exchanges find our hero solving a crime that has left the Parisian gendarme flummoxed for the past decade..... there was a lotta leaps..... A LOT...... but I let it ride as its an amiable enough read & the characters are likeable enough in their way. It’s not my normal fare when it comes to crime teccy but Im sure it’ll appeal too many with its easy going ways. For me I’ll give it a steady 3 as it kept me entertained enough...... That might sound a tad harsh as I did rip through it at a fair rate but sorry it was all a little too early Sunday evening tv film & twee for me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marlene H

    May's Lewis Trilogy books are excellent. Unfortunately this isn't .... An unlikely set of symbolic clues appearing at intervals to be understood with the help of Google. The Da Vinci code applied to the machinations of the French civil service. Why the murderers ever bothered committing the murder was never clear to me. May's Lewis Trilogy books are excellent. Unfortunately this isn't .... An unlikely set of symbolic clues appearing at intervals to be understood with the help of Google. The Da Vinci code applied to the machinations of the French civil service. Why the murderers ever bothered committing the murder was never clear to me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lino Matteo

    Extraordinary People Peter May 2016 This is the first in May’s The Enzo Files – it was a welcome read to my list. I had read 3 of the others books (5 so far in all), so it did some useful backfilling of character development. The stories also work as standalone novels – so dig in wherever you can. Plenty of France in these books – champagne, geography, wine, history, myths and political intrigue…oh, and did I mention food & wine! I did find the climax a little hard to follow. And who tried to eliminat Extraordinary People Peter May 2016 This is the first in May’s The Enzo Files – it was a welcome read to my list. I had read 3 of the others books (5 so far in all), so it did some useful backfilling of character development. The stories also work as standalone novels – so dig in wherever you can. Plenty of France in these books – champagne, geography, wine, history, myths and political intrigue…oh, and did I mention food & wine! I did find the climax a little hard to follow. And who tried to eliminate Enzo along the way if it was not_______ 4 stars Half-Scottish, half-Italian Enzo MacLeod used to be one of the top forensics experts in Scotland, and now he lives in Toulouse, working as a university professor. Divorced in Scotland and widowed in France, he has an estranged Scottish daughter and a French daughter he has raised by himself. As if his life isn't complicated enough, he soon finds himself unexpectedly in the hunt for solutions to some vexing cold cases thanks to an ill-advised wager about the power of forensic science. Meanwhile, in Paris, a man desperately seeking sanctuary flees into a church. The next day, his sudden disappearance will make him famous throughout France. Deep in the catacombs below the City of Light, MacLeod unearths disturbing clues deliberately left behind by a killer. But as the retired forensics expert draws closer to the truth, he discovers he may just wind up the next victim for his troubles. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019WQO4OA/... EN: 12: A glass of Pouilly Fume… 43: His mother told us that his favorite film was La Traversee de Paris… 46: Enzo turned back “ A skull in a trunk?” 52: …nearly three hundred kilometers of tunnels under the city.” 53: Raffin said, “The catacombs are twenty to thirty meters down. Hacked out of solid rock by quarriers over centuries. 65: The long, glass-topped boats of the bateau mouches below the Pont de l”alma opposite rose and fell gently on the wash. 75: It was George Bernard Shaw, wasn’t it, who said that those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach? 80: …France’s fourth largest city. (Cahors) 87:..routes to Compostela…it says the body got floated ashore from a stone boat to a beach covered with scallop shells, and that’s how the shell became symbolic of the pilgrimage 88: There is a legend that Bonaparte was advised to marry Josephine and adopt her two children, because they were supposed to be Merovingian lineage – descendants of Christ. Childeric was the son of King Merovee of the Franks, the first of the lineage, and supposedly a direct descendent of Mary Magdalene. 108: We make our own vielle prune on the farm. And Poire. No need to go buying the commercial stuff. 110: …I talked round and round the houses. And when eventually, I’d finished, she said, “Are you talking about menstruation? Because I started my periods last year” (Enzo and his daughter) http://www.wine-making-guides.com/pru... 120: The man let his eyes wander lusciously down to her quivering breasts. And then he looked up “Sorry.” Apparently the pleasure of exercising his power outweighed the allure of the girl from the farm. 126: There’s Italian blood in your Family, Macleod, isn’t there? My mother was Italian. Hmmm. Any relation to the Machiavellis? 131: …an anti-China demonstration by the extreme religious group Falum Gong, whose leaser claimed to be a visitor from outer space. Enso wondered where he had parked his flying saucer. …a rendezvous with the French Minister of Justice, otherwise known as the Garde des Sceaux, literally the Keeper of the Seals…. 137: I think anything that brings decision-making closer to the people is a good thing. EN: No longer so sure of that….easier to manipulate smaller homogeneous groups…. 166: Poisson d’avril = April Fools day 167: Sigilum militum xpisti = The seal of the army of Christ …chosen seal of the Knights Templar…. 168: The first miracle of Fatima – 1385 172: Dom Perignon was launched in 1921 by Moet et Chandon as their top of the line champagne… 179: The 1990 Dom Perignon wasn’t released until 1996. 180…blind, alleging heightening his sense of taste. But that’s another myth. The truth is, he was just a damned good winemaker. He introduced blending to the Champagne region, and was the first person to successfully contain local sparkling wine in reinforced glass bottles with Spanish corks. (Dom Perignon) 183: But, in Epernay, everyone drank champagne, from the street cleaner to the lord of the manner. 190 …they’ve dug out a hundred and twenty kilometers of tunnels out of the chalk under the town, and there’s more than two hundred million bottles of champagne stored down there. 193: That is was a blend of three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. That two of those grapes were red, and must be pressed very gently in order not to transfer color from the skin of the juice. 216: Roquefort EN: Roquefort is a sheep milk cheese from the south of France, and together with Bleu d'Auvergne, Stilton, and Gorgonzola is one of the world's best known blue cheeses. T 236: ..established by the monks of the Order of Chartreux in 1257…I ‘m sure you’ve heard of Green Chartreuse EN: Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737 according to the instructions set out in a manuscript given to them by François Annibal d'Estrées in 1605 242: My parents have a holiday home in the Correaze…. 271: The leaders of a generation. And thought Enzo, a roll-call of crooks. EN: Pay attention to the name and the excerpt from Crime and Punishment 288: …an old Chinese proverb: It is not an easy thing to mend a broken mirror. 307: Things that had never crossed his mind as a young man. Perhaps it was a sign of the times, that young people had higher expectations of conflict with the authorities. 369: …it wouldn’t do any harm at all if you applied your very particular talents to unraveling a few more of those unsolved cases….. (President of his university) #ExtraordinaryPeople

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alan Cotterell

    I had previously read the Lewis Trilogy, and to be honest, not really got into them. But I thought this series had more potential, so gave it a go. I was not disappointed. I read book 3 first just because it was the first one I found. Really enjoyed that so am now working through the series from the start. Enzo McLeod as the main character, a half Italian , half Scottish former forensics expert living in France, gives a lot of scope for character development. Interesting story of a cold case inves I had previously read the Lewis Trilogy, and to be honest, not really got into them. But I thought this series had more potential, so gave it a go. I was not disappointed. I read book 3 first just because it was the first one I found. Really enjoyed that so am now working through the series from the start. Enzo McLeod as the main character, a half Italian , half Scottish former forensics expert living in France, gives a lot of scope for character development. Interesting story of a cold case investigation, from clues left behind 20 years ago, solved with the combination of forensics, good old detective work and Google. I will definitely be reading more of this series, book 2 on the shelves.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sebastien Castell

    I rarely find a book that fits my sense of three stars: solid, readable, unremarkable. Usually a book like that ends up losing my interest too quickly to get to the end. Peter May's Extraordinary People, however, managed to keep my interest up on the strength of his fluid writing style and the generally fun characters. Enzo is one of those nice-guy detectives found in so many crime novels. He's messed up his family life, his career isn't really going anywhere, but despite this, those around him ( I rarely find a book that fits my sense of three stars: solid, readable, unremarkable. Usually a book like that ends up losing my interest too quickly to get to the end. Peter May's Extraordinary People, however, managed to keep my interest up on the strength of his fluid writing style and the generally fun characters. Enzo is one of those nice-guy detectives found in so many crime novels. He's messed up his family life, his career isn't really going anywhere, but despite this, those around him (and the reader) generally find him likeable and trustworthy. He's not an athlete, but big enough to intimidate when he needs to. He's pushing fifty, but younger women see to throw themselves at him. That last part is rendered unbelievable only by the fact that he has a pony tail. May's a skilled writer, his sense of character and pacing no doubt honed through his television writing. This, in addition to Enzo's personal family problems, kept me reading even after I'd largely lost interest in the overall murder mystery, which itself felt at times contrived and almost out of date – fitting better with that much earlier style of mystery in which killers come up with impossibly convoluted sets of clues to leave for reasons only vaguely believable. All of this left me happy enough to have finished the book, but not reaching for the next one in the series. However it did make me want to try more of Peter May's books, so I'll be grabbing one of those forthwith.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sheriene

    I wanted to like this book, but there were a few things that counted agaisnt it. I didnt really care about Enzo or the supporting characters. The place names and what felt like long winded descriptions of getting to a location was abit annoying. It felt like the author wanted to put in everything he knew about street names in Paris, rather than being helpful in orientating you in the city. The whole puzzle and body parts thing was a bit far fetched for my liking and I didnt find the final explan I wanted to like this book, but there were a few things that counted agaisnt it. I didnt really care about Enzo or the supporting characters. The place names and what felt like long winded descriptions of getting to a location was abit annoying. It felt like the author wanted to put in everything he knew about street names in Paris, rather than being helpful in orientating you in the city. The whole puzzle and body parts thing was a bit far fetched for my liking and I didnt find the final explanation all that satisfactory, though it wasnt hard to see where it was going. That said, I have heard good things about some of his other books, so will try one of those

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Nawrot

    Someone please help me with where my logic went wrong. I think this audio was on sale (of course it was), it was the first installment of a series about a forensic dude who is chasing a cold case. In Paris. Aaaaaaand is narrated by the lovely Simon Vance. WHAT COULD GO WRONG???? Well apparently a lot. Seriously, I will never trust again. This book was BAD. And it wasn't because of poor Simon. He did his best with the material he was given. You wouldn't know it to read the reviews. Probably for th Someone please help me with where my logic went wrong. I think this audio was on sale (of course it was), it was the first installment of a series about a forensic dude who is chasing a cold case. In Paris. Aaaaaaand is narrated by the lovely Simon Vance. WHAT COULD GO WRONG???? Well apparently a lot. Seriously, I will never trust again. This book was BAD. And it wasn't because of poor Simon. He did his best with the material he was given. You wouldn't know it to read the reviews. Probably for the same reason why Dan Brown is a gazillionaire. The characters lacked any depth, and their actions were predictable. For example, primo forensic dude has baggage, a daughter he raised and an estranged daughter from a previous marriage. He has buddies that help that Know Things. He hates his daughter's boyfriend (who, in the end, saves the day and turns out to be a stellar guy despite the piercings). He meets a hot psychologist who is somehow involved in his case, and is she bad? Is she good? He chases clues to solve the mystery. He digs up shit according to clues. When it is dark, people attack him. Everyone wants to kill him. Public officials warn him to stop his investigation. There's a lot of running around. Sound like fun to you? Great, go for it. It did not work for me. It was torturous, and I only finished it because I paid for it and I'm a cheapskate that way.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    There's lots wrong with this book. Hackneyed phrases, ridiculous (and totally pointless) sex scenes, massive leaps of faith which (all but once) turn out to be true, too many French place names (leaving aside my ignorance of any language but English)... But There's lots right with it too. Characters are relatively well developed, story (and again, leaving the massive leaps of faith aside) is rather good and based on an interesting idea... Will I read the next in the series? More than likely. So it g There's lots wrong with this book. Hackneyed phrases, ridiculous (and totally pointless) sex scenes, massive leaps of faith which (all but once) turn out to be true, too many French place names (leaving aside my ignorance of any language but English)... But There's lots right with it too. Characters are relatively well developed, story (and again, leaving the massive leaps of faith aside) is rather good and based on an interesting idea... Will I read the next in the series? More than likely. So it goes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Venla

    Peter May's Extraordinary People starts the Enzo Files series. In the book, the reader gets a chance to follow a Scottish-Italian university professor Enzo Macleod around. The professor has left his detective career behind and has moved to Paris. He makes a bold bet with some of his friends. As a consequence, Enzo must solve French police's unsolved murder cases. He starts the job with the murder of Jacques Gaillard who was once a popular figure among universities and politics as well. The invest Peter May's Extraordinary People starts the Enzo Files series. In the book, the reader gets a chance to follow a Scottish-Italian university professor Enzo Macleod around. The professor has left his detective career behind and has moved to Paris. He makes a bold bet with some of his friends. As a consequence, Enzo must solve French police's unsolved murder cases. He starts the job with the murder of Jacques Gaillard who was once a popular figure among universities and politics as well. The investigation turns out to be more complex than anyone could expect it to be. Enzo gets help from different parties as the investigation evolves. Of course, all help is not welcome and some Enzo's old so-called friends get in the way of the investigation. In their words, some skeletons should be left undiscovered, literally. During the investigation, Enzo also tries to solve some of his personal problems that are a big distraction to him. This book was a good read, and I enjoyed reading it. I liked the way May has built the story and made every single detail important to the story. The plot moved along smoothly but at some points, it felt rushed and some of the clues made so sense. Even though the story was well-built as an ensemble it had some flaws that made the story feel unrealistic at times. I was hoping it to feel more real so it would have been easier to conform to the story. The clues for the case where really far fetch and the way they played together was way too smooth. However, I really liked the concept of how the case actually got solved. Extraordinary People has everything that a good thriller needs but sadly, this did not do as much justice for the plot itself as I hoped it would. Also, the book contains many French places and saying which didn't bother me because I speak French, I think it was a rather nice addition to the context. But I think that it would be really annoying to some who don't know the language. As a summary, the book was well put together even though it was lagging some sense at times. It was quite easy to relate to some of the characters but some were just made out of whole cloth. However, those characters were not that important after all. I would give this a solid 4 stars because I enjoyed reading it. The style of writing was good and I just couldn't put this down. The start was a little slow but trust me, it gets better the more you read. I can't wait to read the second book of the series!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Thanks to #marchmysterymadness I have read a load of mysteries this month and I've started a few crime/mystery series. This is one I've been meaning to get to and I did enjoy it. Enzo Macleod is a biologist in Toulouse. He is a Scot living in France with his teenage daughter Sophie. He is challenged to solve the mystery of what happened to Jacques Gaillard, a brilliant politician and well-known intellectual 10 years ago. It's a cat and mouse story with plenty of brushes with the law... and dea Thanks to #marchmysterymadness I have read a load of mysteries this month and I've started a few crime/mystery series. This is one I've been meaning to get to and I did enjoy it. Enzo Macleod is a biologist in Toulouse. He is a Scot living in France with his teenage daughter Sophie. He is challenged to solve the mystery of what happened to Jacques Gaillard, a brilliant politician and well-known intellectual 10 years ago. It's a cat and mouse story with plenty of brushes with the law... and death! This is definitely on the cosy side of crime mystery - it's funny in places and includes family dramas. It's not super believable but that wasn't a big concern for me. My main problem is I'm not sure what I think about Enzo - he seems like a bit of a letch and a judgemental & impulsive person even though he is a teacher and a person who has made mistakes in his own life...hmmmm...I think I would read more about Enzo as people are complicated and I can accept that but he clearly has one rule for himself and another for others (which I'm really not keen on). There were a few eye rolls involved in some parts of the book but it was engaging enough for me to give the next story a go.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Enzo Macleod was challenged to find answers to the cold case of missing Jacques Gaillard who had disappeared ten years prior. The police had no idea whether he’d just vanished or had been murdered – no clues whatsoever. This was a case that Enzo was determined to crack – and with his field of forensics from when he was in Scotland, he knew he was qualified. Living in France for almost twenty years, Enzo and his teenage daughter Sophie managed well. But he had another daughter living not too dist Enzo Macleod was challenged to find answers to the cold case of missing Jacques Gaillard who had disappeared ten years prior. The police had no idea whether he’d just vanished or had been murdered – no clues whatsoever. This was a case that Enzo was determined to crack – and with his field of forensics from when he was in Scotland, he knew he was qualified. Living in France for almost twenty years, Enzo and his teenage daughter Sophie managed well. But he had another daughter living not too distant – Kirsty would have nothing to do with him however. Even on the one occasion he waited for her and begged her to listen to him, she sent him on his way, stating she never wanted to see him again. The discovery of a dismembered head buried in the vast underground tunnels of Paris, and the clues that accompanied it meant Enzo’s challenge had just deepened. Could he solve the puzzle? And what would it mean if he did? Enzo’s quest was inviting danger – this was one murder that the killer thought he had got away with; and he would do anything to stop Enzo in his tracks… Extraordinary People is #1 in the Enzo Files series by Scottish author Peter May and I enjoyed it very much. A fast paced thriller with twists and turns to keep the reader on his/her toes; I certainly didn’t guess the identity of the killer until the reveal. Highly recommended.

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