Maybe it's the translation from French but I had difficulty reading and, at times, understanding this book. Paragraphs seemed to start in mid-thought. This is an Inspector Henri Castang mystery, written by Nicolas Freeling who lives in France. Castang is transferred to a "nothing" job in Paris due to political misperceived handling of a case he was on. Castang and his wife, Vera, move to a Paris suburb. Their daughter, Lydia, has a friend who complains to Lydia of misappropriate sexual behavior on the part of a well-known television figure, Dampierre, who invites some of the older school girls to his mansion for "cultural" discussions. The girl refuses to file charges and Castang is sure this man does this on a regular basis, having heard of other incidences. Dampierre's fame and money keeps the girls from testifying.
With his superior's urging, Castang, decides to entrap Dampierre and decides to use his daughter. Lydia is all game to do it and her mother sees nothing wrong with it.
This is the dilemma of this book - how different France's morals are compared to ours in the U.S. as depicted by Freeling within his story. Accusations of rape are seen as probably bogus; that somehow the woman led the guy on and now she cries "rape". Sexual seduction of teenage girls (or younger) is given a tolerant view; even incest in some instances. Most political positions of power are awarded by who someone knows so a prosecutor, for instance, who received his position through well connected friends, won't go through with prosecution of those "friends" who have committed illegal acts.
I don't know how true this sad depiction is or if it's the author's fiction at work. Whatever it is, I found the depiction of rape, pedophilia and pedestry completely at odds with my views and most U.S. citizens.
However, if a reader is more objective than I am, this book can prove to be an interesting story of a judicial system built mainly on favors and a microcosm of a cultures' views of child sex. There's no great mystery here to unravel. The mystery revolves mainly around whether or not Castang can pull off his entrapment scheme.