Review: Carnage – Maxime Chattam

Cover of Carnage by Maxime Chattam

Title: Carnage
Author: Maxime Chattam
Publication date: 12 March, 2012
Publisher: Gallic Books
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1906040413
Length: 112 pages
Genre: Thriller
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository


Fourteen people were dead.
Twenty-one were wounded, some permanently.
Hundreds would be scarred forever by what they had seen.
Outside, the world was waking up.
To start another day.

When Lieutenant Lamar Gallieneo of the 13th Precinct is called to the scene of a massacre at a high school in Harlem, he is faced with an apparently motiveless crime. But this is to be only the first school shooting…

My thoughts

What intrigued me the most about Maxime Chattam’s Carnage when I first saw this title on the publisher’s website was its length. With only 112 pages, it has to be the shortest thriller/mystery I’ve ever seen and read and I was really looking forward to seeing how the story would unfold in such a short time. I don’t normally read such short stories but Carnage was an exception – the synopsis sounded brilliant and as I love crime, I knew I had to read it. And I have to say, it was definitely a pleasant surprise!

Carnage is one of those books that can be read in one sitting, or on your way to and fro work if you’re a commuter. It’s fast paced, terribly gripping and it’s full of twist and turns which I didn’t see coming at all. In spite of its shortness, the story still feels complete. Every mystery is solved by the end, and there are no questions that remain unanswered. Lamar Gallieneo is a likeable character and even though the book’s length doesn’t allow much character development, you still can’t help being drawn to his story and hoping he’d come out of all this unharmed.

Filled with suspense from start to finish, Carnage is a quick, engaging read which fans of crime fiction are guaranteed to enjoy.


The school resembled a stone monster on its knees, its arms spread out between islands of asphalt and patches of grass. The darkness had not yet lifted so that a yellow glow radiated from its entrails, pools of light showing through the rectangular wounds of its concrete skin. “

5 star rating
*Many thanks to Gallic Books for sending me a copy of this book*

19 Responses to “Review: Carnage – Maxime Chattam”

  1. This looks suspenseful, and i like that it is short, since I could easily consume it on a Sunday afternoon…adding to my list for a rainy day. Awesome review.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..In a Fix by Linda GrimesMy Profile

  2. The description gave me chills. I’m not much into novellas though~unless I’m on vacation. I’ll add this one to my list though.
    Heather McCorkle recently posted..Rise of a Rector Cover Reveal ContestMy Profile

  3. Olive says:

    You keep surprising me with each review! Plus, my wishlist seems to be only lenghtening :) But I don’t mind. If the story is short but still so good… Well, I will give it a shot!
    Olive recently posted.."Fairytale of New York" – Miranda DickinsonMy Profile

  4. emaginette says:

    Another on my TBR pile. The quote gave me the eebie-jeebies. Still shivering. :-)
    emaginette recently posted..Review: Multiple Motives #RCCleanupMy Profile

  5. Farah says:

    ooh.. another great adult book you have reviewed! This sounds realllyy interesting, maybe i’ll read it when I grow up a little :P haha! Thanks for the review!
    – Farah @MajiBookshelf
    Farah recently posted..Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long – FarahMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thank you! :) I actually didn’t know if I should classify it as adult or young adult but it can be both. It’s not an uplifting subject, though. But I loved it :D

  6. kimberly says:

    This looks really good. I def. want to check this out. Thanks for the review! I haven’t heard of this book until now!
    kimberly recently posted..Author Interview, GIVEAWAY & Book Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  7. Wow, I love the synopsis and from your review, it seems like a very gripping book. I am all for it.

    Great review, Vicky!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile
    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile recently posted..Review: Last Summer by Rebecca A. Rogers Blog TourMy Profile

  8. Rachel says:

    OOh now I dont know whether or not I want to read this… 112 pages has me intrigued!

  9. That’s a very short story indeed. Normally, I’m not a fan of those books. I like to connect to a character and most of the time, I’m not able to in short books. I’m so glad that this author found a way to make it work! I like the sound of this story, so I might check it out some time.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted..Review 47. Rachel Hawkins – Hex Hall.My Profile

  10. Shona says:

    Another great review, and more my sort of read on this one. My amazon account is going to love you!! :)
    Shona recently posted..What to read?My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thank you! :) It’s quite a short book but I really enjoyed it. (And I just left you a comment with some recommendations. I hope it helps :))

      • Shona says:

        Thanks Vicky, I appreciate your comments on my blog – I was in the process of rewriting my blog so that I can respond to comments but I didn’t get there in time for yours. Looking forward to reading your blog in future :)
        Shona recently posted..What to read?My Profile

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