Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Extraordinary People (Enzo Files, #1)” as Want to Read:
Extraordinary People (Enzo Files, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Extraordinary People

(The Enzo Files #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  5,918 ratings  ·  675 reviews
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. ...more
Paperback, 321 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Extraordinary People, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Linda Earlier editions of the book was published as Dry Bones. The Audible edition is still under the old title.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,918 ratings  ·  675 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Extraordinary People (Enzo Files, #1)
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2018-completed
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
Kylie D
I had fun with this one, racing around France solving the clues as to how Jacques Gaillard disappeared. Well worth the read.
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 ...more
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 ...more
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
“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
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scottish-authors
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
Kylie H
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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!
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller, mystery
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 ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
Marlene  H
Jul 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Lino  Matteo
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary People
Peter May
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
Alan Cotterell
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
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
Sebastien Castell
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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 (
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Sandy Nawrot
Apr 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)...


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
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, 2018
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
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nämn inte de döda (Darwindeckare, #1)
  • Ödesmark
  • Lockdown
  • Far from the Tree
  • Mellan djävulen och havet (Doggerland, #3)
  • A Necessary Death (Selma Falck, #2)
  • Stormvakt (Strindberg, #1)
  • Satanskäftarna (Malin Fors, #13)
  • En giftig skandal (Helena Waller #5)
  • De drabbade (Claes Claesson #9)
  • En kamp mot klockan
  • Den sorgsne busschauffören från Alster (Inspector Barbarotti, #6)
  • Väg 9 (Cold Case, #2)
  • Beneath the Surface (Inspector Tom Reynolds, #2)
  • Fruset guld (Rönning & Stilton, #6)
  • Sovsågott (Hoffman och Grens, #5)
  • The Office of the Dead (Roth, #3)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

The Enzo Files (7 books)
  • The Critic (Enzo Files, #2)
  • Blacklight Blue (Enzo Files, #3)
  • Freeze Frame (Enzo Files, #4)
  • Blowback (Enzo Files, #5)
  • Cast Iron (The Enzo Files, #6)
  • The Night Gate (The Enzo Files #7)

News & Interviews

When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
35 likes · 1 comments
“stuck a pin in her. She was instantly deflated. ‘How do” 0 likes
More quotes…