Canadian bookstore owner Paul Sirenne is thrust into a quest for answers when his parents are found murdered, their bodies cut up into the letters H.N. A note sent before his father's murder drives Sirenne to seek out the roots of a long-forgotten family secret.
He heads to the town of Etretat, France, on the trail of a hundred year old mystery hidden in the pages of 'The Hollow Needle', by Maurice Leblanc. Together with Leblanc's great-granddaughter, Sirenne unearths puzzles, codes and historical mysteries, exposing a secret war for control of a cave fortress in Etretat's chalk cliffs.
'THE CAVES OF ETRETAT' is the first in a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems.
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"I didn't want it to end-Filled with mystery, intrigue, treasures,conspiracies,and fascinating characters. What appears to begin with a murder, turns into something much deeper and entangled with events that took place decades prior. I found myself lost in the maze of events and ingenuity of the people who are destined to unravel the mysteries.
"One statement in the story says it all. True destiny is foisted on the average man, despite what he wants. This story is so believable that it will change the way you look at history. This is the first of a series of four books, and if they are all as riveting as this one, you will not be able to put any of them down. It is an outstanding mystery, with every page an attention grabber. I recommend it highly to anyone who loves mystery suspense stories, but make sure you set aside plenty of time to read, because you won't want to set this one down. I can't wait for the next book!" 5/5 Flowers-(click here to read entire review)It's Raining Books- book review blog site
While this book is not your average crime/mystery read it was an amazing book. It will keep the reader guessing and turning the page.
I really like the part that the main character Paul is a used book store owner. Actually the author of this wonderful book is a bookstore owner in Ottawa. While have so many books around him, Matt have had lots of ideas flowing out of those books.
I do not know how the author was able to capture the feelings behind the words but reading this book carried me through to the crime scene and over to Europe with Paul. The author wrote this book with feeling like it was something he has experienced in the past. Whether that is true or not I do not know. However it is there all the same.
This is not the average crime/mystery book. It carries the reader into the past to learn about ancient codes and mysteries. The Hollow Needle is referenced in the book, with accurate descriptions.
If you like a serial crime novel then this is the book for you. I honestly had a hard time putting this book down and going back to work to to sleep at night. I highly recommend this book.
This is the first in a four-book series. I can not wait to start the second book. Any ideas of when that will happen Matt?
The bunnies and I give this book 4 out of five stars"
"Looking for a good mystery? Paul, a bookstore owner, has it rough right from the get-go. His parents are murdered and etched into their skin are the mysterious letters H.N. Paul isn't one to take things lying down and his parents' murders hit him hard. When he stumbles upon some family secrets, he decides to try to solve the crime.
Paul's character was nice. He wasn't particularly forceful or weak, the reader will probably like how much he seems to care for his family. Paul will impress the reader with his ability to discover clues and uncover long-held secrets. The other characters were interesting enough, they were all generally nice to meet (except the antagonist, of course!). What was great about this book was that the antagonist, someone the reader may or may not guess, wasn't really likable at all...the reader will probably not feel too much sympathy.
The plot itself was fast-paced, the reader will never have to wait too long for the scenes to fly by and evidence to mount up. The ending will be somewhat of a surprise, which is always great with a mystery. This book is recommended to adult readers.
Okay, so I was a little iffy about reading this, but decided to give in. Not my typical book, as I love the horror, paranormal romance, romance, etc. But, all great authors deserve a chance, and I so pleased to say that I totally enjoyed this book. I got so engrossed in this book, I stayed up until 3am to finish it! Each page turn brought something new from the author and the skills the author used was phenomenal!
From the beginning, the reader is pulled into an intense web of suspense. Paul’s parents are found murdered. It’s up to him to find the clues, the answers to the whys and the who-dun-it. Not knowing what he’s getting into, he jumps into finding the killer. Along the way, Paul finds there’s more to the story than just the horrific murders of his parents.
Secrets, turmoil, and intriguing mystery are suddenly unleashed. When Paul meets a woman who may know more than he thinks, things take a complicated turn…..running for their lives, they work together to piece the clues together and find the answers of the present and the past.
Mixing in a bit of romance, Chatelain creates the start to an, as it’s dubbed,”epic” series. I was so glad that I took the time to read this novel. It’s one that I will be looking forward to going back and reading again and again. From edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckle suspense, to romance and fast-paced turns, this is novel that is sure to be a hit with any book lover. I totally recommend this to everyone and the next one in the series, The Four Books of Etretat can’t come soon enough! This is most definitely a book worthy of more than a 5 Book rating. It deserves so much more! Fantastic job, Mr. Chatelain!!! You’ve definitely created a new fan in me.
Does the self proclaimed “armchair detective” have what it takes to solve a very real and life altering mystery?
One of the things I like most about The Caves of Etretat is that Paul is an ordinary guy who's called to do extraordinary things. Paul perfectly embodies the term “armchair detective.” He's extremely smart and loves solving complex mysteries and puzzles, but Paul has never really ventured beyond his comfort zone. Paul is forced to take action when his parents are murdered. It isn’t long before what starts out as a murder mystery is revealed to be a multifaceted secret spanning hundreds of years that directly involves one of the twentieth century’s most notorious men.
Once Paul realizes the magnitude of his discoveries, he's overwhelmed by the responsibility he's being called to shoulder. It would have been completely understandable if he had wanted to walk away from it all. Instead, Paul shows some real backbone and presses on. I’m absolutely certain that he's exactly the sort of man who can bear the secret of the caves. Not only is he intelligent, but he's also thoughtful and loyal. He carefully considers the consequences of his actions before making any moves, but he still manages to get himself into several scrapes. The scene involving the car chase is particularly memorable. All these traits make Paul a great character. However, the icing on the cake is his relationship with Raymonde, Leblanc’s great granddaughter. I found myself smiling as Paul blushed and stumbled over his words when trying to explain his situation to her. Their tender romance plays out in such a simple and realistic way that it truly helps ground the story.
Out of all the secondary characters, O’Flanahan is certainly the most fun. He's brash and a bit overbearing at times, but he means well and is a good friend to Paul. O’Flanahan’s outspoken attitude sets off Paul’s more introverted personality very well, and I look forward to reading more about him in the coming books.
Mr. Chatelain obviously spent a great deal of time writing and researching this story. Everything seems to be very well thought out in order to make the theory about Hitler and the caves sound plausible. All the information is organized so well I was able to follow his reasoning without any serious moments of disbelief.
The pacing of The Caves of Etretat is also very well done. The majority of the plot involves Paul reading or discussing the secret of the caves with various characters. When it seems as if the plot might get a bit bogged down by all the dialogue something exciting happens to shake things up a bit. This mix of research, action, and looming sense of danger from the murderer is perfectly balanced and keeps the story moving at a nice pace.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Caves of Etretat, and I will certainly be looking for the next installment in the series. Long after I had finished reading, I was contemplating the theories presented in its pages and wondering what would happen if they turned out to be true. Anyone looking for a great conspiracy theory filled to the brim with suspense should definitely check out The Caves of Etretat.
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I always wanted to write an an action story with a regular guy as the protagonist. I wanted to show even an average man could survive incredible challenges. Paul Sirenne is that man.
-Two new audio excerpts from the book plus interviews - click here to listen to them.