Cover Image: Stick Together

Stick Together

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Member Reviews

This is the second book to The Awkward Squad by Sophie Henaff, which is set in France and follows a group of misfit officers, and led by Anne Capistan. They are given small cases, made fun of by the others on the squad, but somehow they end up solving the cases better than anyone can. I enjoyed the first book and enjoyed this one just as much.

In this book, there has been a murder, and a few arms of the law are working to solve it, including Capistan's. She learns she was brought in because the victim is a well-respected former police officer, who also happens to be her father-in-law.  As Capistan's team starts to receive information from the other law enforcement groups, it is incomplete, missing key details, all in an effort to thwart their efforts to actually solve the case and make the other groups look bad. Does this stop Capistan and her team? Nope. As other murders start happening, they are able to see things the others don't, which makes for an interesting and fun ride.

Translated to English, this was released in early April in the US, and I highly recommend this series.  I'm looking forward to the next one already!

Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy to review. All opinions above are my own.
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ARC received from NetGalley, in return for an honest review.

After her ex-father-in-law, and former policeman, is found murdered, Commisaire Anne Capestan's squad of misfits are put on the case. But with obstacles being thrown in their way, new "undesirable" members joining the team, and revelations hitting a little too close to home - are they actually meant to solve the case?

In this second title of the translated Awkward Squad series, the reader is brought further into the personal lives of the team's members and are seen growing closer as a team. The writing is smart and light-hearted moments between the team's members are delightful. This is a series I look forward to continuing for its duration.
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After bringing a dirty cop to justice in The Awkward Squad, the entire Paris police force considers Commissaire Anne Capestan's squad a bunch of traitors. This certainly isn't going to help them with their latest investigation into the death of Capestan's ex-father-in-law, a former police officer with no shortage of enemies. Even though they're referred to as "the official dregs squad," these misfits seem to be putting clues together faster than their fellow officers in other divisions and have already found two additional murders that tie into theirs.

With everyone expecting them to fall flat on their faces, it's up to Capestan's squad to prove them all wrong, and readers are going to enjoy the journey as long as they don't mind a mystery that focuses more on the characters than it does the investigation-- at least from time to time. It's fun to piece together the clues in Stick Together, even though the identity of one of the bad guys is rather transparent.

However much I do enjoy solving the mysteries in the Awkward Squad series, I have to admit that the characters are what I really focus on. It's been proven time and again that, if you treat someone like a loser, they are going to behave like a loser. That's what's happened to the members of the Awkward Squad-- until they're transferred to their new division. Anne Capestan is the perfect boss for this crew. She accepts them as they are and still expects them to do their best every day. They get no respect from any other police officer in the city of Paris except for the head of the Police Judiciare who secretly helps Anne when he can. When Anne is given a new transfer, he tells her, "I think deep down he's damaged. Fix him if you can, please, commissaire."

It's to Anne's credit that she does seem to be able to fix damaged police officers, and with an officer who's fresh out of the psych ward and another whose last assignment had been as an informer, she needs every ounce of her skill. Yes, Stick Together-- as well as the first book in the series-- can be read as mysteries, but if you're the type of crime fiction reader who likes a bit of humor and a character-driven story, author Sophie Hénaff should really be your cup of tea. The only part of the book that felt a bit over the top to me was a trip to an island at the end, but it does show the group bonding.

I've always loved stories about how a bunch of misfits and losers come together, learn to work together, and begin to take pride in themselves again. If you think about it, Hénaff's series about an improbable group of police officers follows Harry Bosch's Rule: Everybody Counts, or Nobody Counts.
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Stick Together is a worthy sequel to Sophie Henaff's debut novel of the Awkward Squad. Look forward to more from her!
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I read a previous book by this author and like it. Both were written by a French author and translated into English. There were many similar words from the French police that broke the flow of words. I had a difficult time handling the story. There were parts the flow smoothly. 
Anne Capestan and her squad of misfits. They are given a case of the where an executive police officer was murder because his son was Anne's ex-husband. A short time later two other police officers were killed. The squad will have doubles as they seek answers. The story is set around the  Christmas season.

Disclosure: Thanks to Quercus for a copy for review through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
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The moment I read the summary of Stick Together by Sophie Henaff, I jumped on my library's app. to request the first book in the series, "Awkward Squad".  I wanted to give myself the best possible experience. And I had a grand read.  Sophie Henaff's police procedural is a distinct pleasure.  The quirky characters are more than their sum. Each member of her odd squad of Paris detectives bring different personalities, strengths and weaknesses to the team and to the story. The City of Paris itself is a refreshingly normal, unromantic, but essential backdrop. 

 One does not need a French lesson to understand the political maneuvering of the bureaucracy pulling the strings which creates this police squad of officers who are not able to be fired, but need to be marginalized all the same.  They are given piles of hopeless case files, then ignored by their superiors. But there are wheels within wheels in Henaff's book, and I enjoyed every twist, every unexpected turn, and every oddball moment with her cast of characters. 

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France, Paris, law enforcement,  murder investigation, Situational humor,

I love this bunch of misfits! Excellent law enforcement officers who
simply don't fit into standard roles yet work together very well even when
they don't even believe in themselves.
They are actually given an assignment, but are only given minimal
information from the actual murder squad, and the kind of non support they
are forced to work around are basics, like not being allowed to purchase
Identikit software (they make do with World of Warcraft avatar program) or
authorization to check phone records or credit records.  But their very
nature of rule breaking is an advantage as they become more than a few
steps ahead of the pack.  There are certain memorable aspects that I just
have to share!   One member has a pet he carries around and is training
for police work---a rat!  Another member is a family man whose wife
also works and he is extremely proud of his ability to iron the family's
Now I have to figure out how to get more books by this author and
translator Sam Gordon!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Maclehose Press via
NetGalley.  Thank you!
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