REVIEW: Cast Iron by Peter May (Enzo Macleod #6)

Series: Enzo Macleod / the Enzo Files

Book Number: 6

Read this book for: French setting – rural and urban, good pacing, cold cases, personal/relationship drama, tense thriller, highly readable page-turner

Quick Review: The final instalment of this engaging series, satisfyingly weaving many of the ongoing threads together to create a page-turning last novel.

Publication/Release Date: January 12, 2017 (UK)


Twenty-year-old Lucie Martin was killed and dumped in a picturesque lake in 1989, and her body recovered after a drought lowered the lake level fourteen years later. Her killer was never found. But her case is the second-last on forensic expert Enzo Macleod’s list of cold cases he has been challenged to crack. A flaw in the original investigation sets of a series of events that – instead of being enlightening — could permanently destroy the lives of everyone he loves.

CAST IRON is the sixth and final instalment in Peter May’s Enzo Macleod series (sometimes called the Enzo Files). The series has been fairly successful, with the previous instalment, COFFIN ROAD, being quite loved by readers. This novel is a suitable and satisfying cap to what has been a very interesting series.

This series has the cold-case investigation with a bit of a twist – Enzo begins investigating these cases on a bet. Set around France, Enzo attempts to solve the most famous cold cases in France, as outlined by a book by a popular journalist. This final novel deals with the sixth of seven murders… and then takes an interesting turn.

One of the things that I find so interesting about this series; I have read other Peter May novels (see the review for THE BLACKHOUSE) and this style is so different. While THE BLACKHOUSE is very moody and atmospheric, this series – and this novel – are clean, sharp thrillers with a little bit of a French flavour. The contrast is very impressive; both styles are very well done and this novel was no exception.

This novel centres around the disappearance and subsequent discovery of the body of Lucie Martin. This case was actually pretty simple, but it unlocks a series of spirals back to several of the other cases in the series (note, you will not make much sense of this one without having read all five of the other novels).

Peter May does a masterful job of weaving several of these stories together in a believable way. I was very impressed at how small pieces from several novels were folded together to create a great finale for the series. It’s difficult to discuss without too many spoilers, but May not only pulls elements from other novels, but also creates danger all across the family that Enzo has gathered around himself over the course of the series, which makes the tension more believable. Add in a sense of justifiable paranoia with the idea that someone close to Enzo is involved, and this novel becomes a compelling page-turner.

If you read and enjoyed COFFIN ROAD, or any or the Enzo Files, CAST IRON is a must-read. I would also recommend this novel – and series – for a well-written, enjoyable, and smooth set of thrillers that would be a good addition to anyone’s collection.

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