The Public Prosecutor - Jef Geeraerts

ALBERT Savelkoul is the public prosecutor of Antwerp. He has power, money, an aristocratic wife and a high maintenance mistress. Everything is apparently going along swimmingly. But what Albert doesn t know is that his wife is scheming with Opus Dei and

ALBERT Savelkoul is the public prosecutor of Antwerp. He has power, money, an aristocratic wife and a high maintenance mistress.

Everything is apparently going along swimmingly.

But what Albert doesn't know is that his wife is scheming with Opus Dei and their machinations are about to bring his world tumbling down.

Jef Geeraerts' The Public Prosecutor (�7.99, Bitter Lemon) is a hugely enjoyable psychological thriller, full of political corruption, which reminded me of Tom Sharpe.


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Albert shares a loveless marriage with Baroness Marie-Amandine de Vreux d'Alembourg who is linked to the ultra-right Catholic group and is soon making arrangements for her sons to be granted the title of Baron in return for a large proportion of Albert's wealth and property - without him knowing.

Blackmail and violence follow as he finds himself trapped at the centre of a complex web of intrigue and double dealing.

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Somehow, Geeraerts has managed to make the shameless, arrogant and womanising Albert into an almost lovable character, a victim of a ruthless, fanatical right wing of the Catholic Church.

Much of the time he thwarts their efforts to ruin him without even realising it and manages to find true love along the way.

The author was born in Antwerp and was educated in Jesuit schools, which may explain his obvious loathing of Opus Dei who, here, are portrayed as corrupt and money-grabbing.

He was a colonial administrator and army officer in the Congo and gained international acclaim for Gangrene Cycle, four novels based on his experience in Africa.

The Public Prosecutor is the first of his crime novels to be published in English, but if the others are up to this standard, then they're bound to be well received.

- LINDSAY JONES

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