Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cristelle Comby - Danse Macabre - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are hired to succeed where the police have failed, to safely return home a missing ballerina. With no lead to pursue and no idea who could be behind the young woman’s kidnapping, they soon find themselves at a loss as to what to do.

To make matters worse, the heart of England seems to be caught in the middle of a little Ice Age. With snow endlessly falling and Tube lines either too cramped up to use or out of service, it is a pain to do any legwork in the huge metropolis.

Oh, and because trouble never comes alone, there may also be a serial killer on the loose in the streets of East London...

My Review

When the identity of the killer in Cristelle Comby's DANSE MACABRE is revealed at the end of the novel, there's an interesting bit of reflection by one of the characters. Alexandra Neve, one half of the investigating duo of Neve & Egan, finds herself relating to the perpetrator, understanding how this person's mind worked. There are notes on the wall and pictures of the victims in the murderer's dwelling place, and Alex immediately compares that methodology to the whiteboard she uses while on a case filled with her own scribblings and photos. The thought makes "her insides coil," causing her to tell her partner, "I don't want this job to drive me mad."

When does dedication turn into fanaticism? When does "solving crimes, one sleepless night at a time" become an obsession instead of a profession? It's a fascinating way to frame a mystery novel when one of the "good guys" knows just how easily the divide can be crossed into "bad guy" territory. It's a dynamic that flows throughout the story when her partner Egan states, "Evil can wear many disguises."

By continually drawing closer to the depraved heart of humanity, the two of them know the risk they are taking by immersing themselves in this world. Their insatiable curiosity plays a big role in why they are able to solve case after case, but it also exposes them to elements that the rest of society remains unaware of. They crawl down into the closed-off lines of the London Underground, encountering vagrants whose living conditions they cannot even begin to comprehend amid such squalor. They learn about unspeakable acts whose details remain etched in their minds, bodies tied up and mutilated, fingers purposely broken to remain on a piano's keys long after death. Gruesome doesn't even begin to cover it.

Encountering such scenes on a regular basis has a way of changing a person, and not for the better. Comby voices this concern for her characters as they descend deeper and deeper into the corruption and immorality on both sides of the law. They learn to live by their own set of rules, following no procedures, heeding no mandates. When they want to get in somewhere, they pick the lock, they don't wait around for a search warrant. When they go on a stakeout, they don't bring backup, they go it alone.

But they're each on their own separate paths of self-discovery. Ashford Egan finds himself coming to terms with his blindness. He knows that he's been living on the fringe of society, caring about no one but himself. It's not until Alexandra enters his life that his soul begins to thaw. She breathes new life into him, getting him interested in the world outside his head. But the rush of emotions is a lot for him to deal with, he's not used to feeling so much, and it scares him. He knows he has to stop being so self-absorbed because it's not who he wants to be.

Over the course of their now twenty-four completed investigations, they've become a bit jaded, a tad cynical, and that scares Alex. As the book concludes on New Year's Eve, she looks back at her life over the past year, and she's not sure that she likes the person she's become. It's a difficult dilemma to solve. Their mission is to battle the negative elements in life, but a war like that usually has to be fought on enemy turf, and a person can't help being affected by that, and Alexandra and Ashford certainly are, each in their own way.


Danse Macabre can be purchased at:

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $11.99 paperback
Pages: 254
Genre: New Adult, Detective Mystery
Release: October 2014
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9781502723772
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Danse Macabre is her third new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.

Links to connect with Cristelle:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I like how you say that Cristelle is worried about her characters. You can tell she really cares about them, and I love that in an author :)

  2. Thanks for the great review. It's nice to hear readers get the subtext and character dilemma within the story. I'm always anxious to know how everything's going to be perceived.
    All my best