With Les agneaux de l’aube, the writer Steve Laflamme, professor of literature at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy, wanted to have fun. One of the main characters of this particularly bloody thriller, Frédérique Santinelli, is a literature professor who comes to the aid of Lieutenant-Detective Guillaume Volta in an attempt to elucidate a dark murder story.
It is a question of deciphering an abstruse text, a dream task for a literature enthusiast. The text brings us back to Aleister Crowley, a British writer with a sulphurous reputation, a follower of occultism, who truly lived at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. This discovery suggests that this is just the beginning, that the murders are just beginning. Indeed, the corpses do not take long to pile up, each more mutilated than the other.
The character of Frédérique Santinelli had appeared in a previous novel by Steve Laflamme, but this time the professor plays a leading role, which puts her life in danger.
However, as a reader, we must accept certain implausibilities. Like the fact that the literature teacher agreed to undergo treatment to completely forget a big trauma suffered in childhood. Something to horrify any good self-respecting psychologist.
We must also accept a very dark, convoluted plot. The characters, especially the villains, seem one-dimensional at first, but they take on a little more depth as the pages go on.
The writing is simple, direct, effective, not devoid of humor, as befits a professor of literature. A professor who concocts sinister stories likely to keep his CEGEP students wide awake.