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The First Fingerprint (Commandant Michel De Palma Investigation #1)

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In an underwater cavern off the coast west of Marseille are the first human engravings known to man. Among them is a crude drawing of a three-fingered hand, which has long puzzled archaeologists. Is it a hunting signal? A mystic sign invoking the spirits? Or is it, as many believe, evidence of ritual mutilation in a Shamanistic world?
"The Hunter" evidently believes the lat
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published May 8th 2008 by Maclehose Press Quercus (first published 2002)
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Nancy Oakes
Good opening entry into this series featuring Police Commandant Michel de Palma; a 3.75 rating.

The First Fingerprint is a police procedural with a serial-killer plot line that draws on the study of prehistory to help guide the story, which takes some very odd turns before getting to the big reveal. Filled with enough suspects and red herrings to make any mystery reader happy, it's a good start to the series -- intelligently written and interesting enough to make me want more of Bonnot.

Michel De
THE FIRST FINGERPRINT (Pol. Proc-Michael De Palma-Marseille, France-Cont) – VG
Bonnot, Xavier-Marie (Ian Monk, translator) – 1st in series
Quercus, 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9781847243522

First sentence: For some time, there had been only a diffuse glow in the sky, a faint light whose source was presumably somewhere behind the jagged row of black rocks, high up there, far above the tiny form now hurrying along, guided by the narrow beam of a torch pointing at the ground.

Commandant Michael De Palma
I had been worried that I would end up suffused with paedophiles, serial killers, killers of paedophiles, and other low-life, complete with graphic descriptions of the torture and bloodshed that ensues. Well, Xavier Marie Bonnot's The First Fingerprint certainly takes the cake. More than a novel with a linear plot, it is a bit of an episodic police procedural, drawing on multiple crimes (including those of children, beautiful (but cold) women, crooks and reformed criminals). Ever since the succe ...more
Yawn. I'll admit I'm a little tired of these standard crime novels ... there is no exciting twist. This one was particularly difficult, as I think often happens with translated books. Not because of story-line or anything, but with this one, because I couldn't tell the characters apart some of the time. I dunno if that happens to you when reading foreign names, there's just something about them that doesn't always stick in my head. Anyway, I thought this book would be a *lot* more interesting th ...more
Balthazar Lawson
The phrase "Lost in translation" comes to mind after reading this English translation of a French novel. I really felt something was not quiet right with this book, terms such as "teammates" instead of "co-workers" were distracting. Was this a translation issue or a cultural issue?

The story was captivating to start with but then it just got confusing with the police seeming to make huge jumps in logic without any backing information. So much so that it made a less enjoyable read for me. I didn't
Jane Massy
Great crime novel, extremely well written though gruesome
Filippo Bossolino
Non è Izzo, però Xavier Marie Bonnot riesce nell'intento di costruire un giallo più che avvincente, ambientato fra Marsiglia e Aix En Provence. Il protagonista, il comandante Michel De Palma, si imbatte in un serial killer che fa letteralmente a pezzi le sue vittime. Un'indagine incessante e frenetica, una classica corsa contro il tempo negli ambienti dello studio della preistoria, con pericolose derive nei terreni della stregoneria, degli sciamani, del cannibalismo.
Maria Grazia
L'inizio è un po' confuso, ripetitivo, poi, verso la metà, la trama si tende e la psicologia dei personaggi si definisce, tra paseudosciamani del tutto fuori di testa e omicidi rituali, con un detective che a volte fa più paura dello psicopatico assassino. E sullo sfondo la Marsiglia di Izzo, forse un po' più degradata, forse un po' più priva di speranza.
Different and interesting, but a bit inconclusive.
Prix rompol à sa sortie, ce roman est absolument superbe
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Xavier-Marie Bonnot has a PhD in History and Sociology, and two Masters degrees in History and French Literature. He is the author of The First Fingerprint and The Beast of the Camargue.
More about Xavier-Marie Bonnot...

Other Books in the Series

Commandant Michel De Palma Investigation (4 books)
  • The Beast Of The Camargue
  • The Voice of the Spirits
  • Les âmes sans nom
The Beast Of The Camargue The Voice of the Spirits The Beast of the Camargue Les âmes sans nom

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