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*


    • 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 😀

    • 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 :))

      • 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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