Title: The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau
Author: Graeme Macrae Burnet
Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adele Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air. When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl’s disappearance, Manfred’s repressed world is shaken to its core and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past. ‘The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau’ is a literary mystery novel that is, at heart, an engrossing psychological portrayal of an outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.
Note: I received a copy from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you BEE publishers!
I’ve been wanting to get out of my romance-reading streak so when I got the chance to review this, I jumped on it. The story proceeds slowly, is creepy and dark.
In a small town where almost nothing exciting happens, a young and beautiful waitress goes missing. This sets off a sequence of events, mainly focused on bank manager Manfred Baumann and Detective Georges Gorski. Manfred, although not the person guilty of anything related to Adele, goes under the microscope because of something else from his past.
Throughout the book we find out a lot about Manfred and Gorski, and disappointingly almost nothing about Adele.
On the plot as a whole, especially the ending, I didn’t like it. I went in expecting a lot about the disappearance and mystery content but instead found myself digging into Manfred and Gorski’s heads. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I knew the nature of the story. i definitely would have been less disappointed with the ending.
Manfred Baumann is a creature of habit. He has a routine set, including what little white lies he tells people every week. He’s also pretty unsocial, with no real friends. His routine is so set that he often wonders about what others would think if he deviated one day.
Adele Bedeau is a beautiful young waitress who catches the eye of Manfred. Despite being mentioned in the title, the book contains very little content on her. The main focus is Manfred and the series of events caused by Adele’s disappearance.
Georges Gorski is a good detective in a town with almost no mysterious crimes. He lives a mediocre life with his wife and daughter. He’s the only character I kind of liked.
This isn’t the kind of book which you read to like or relate to the characters, though. You read it to get into the mind of a character who is dark and quite creepy.
Personally, I found the story to be way more psychological thriller than crime mystery. Even though Adele disappears and that’s what sets off a sequence of events, the story is mostly about Manfred, a little about Gorski. Since the book is written in dual POV of them both, we totally get into their heads and read about their pasts.
The pacing of the story was a little too slow for me, especially with the info dumps on the characters’ pasts, which I wasn’t interested in at all. I just wanted to know about Adele’s disappearance.
As I said, I might have enjoyed it more if I went in expecting a psychological thriller. Alas, I didn’t enjoy it much. However if you like books that dig into characters, which are dark and give the creeps, I totally recommend this.