April 2014

Michael J. Malone with Bashir Saoudi - The Guillotine Choice

"...Kaciís story is a riveting account of one manís determination to survive in the worst prison in the world. "

In 1920s French-controlled Algeria, Kaci is in the frame for the brutal murder of his French boss. Kaci is faced with a stark choice: name his cousin as the killer and win his freedom, or keep quiet and face 25 years' hard labour in the infamous Devil's Island penal colony.

Either way, one of them is destined for the world's worst prison... a hell on earth that few men survive.

As a regular reader of crime-fiction, I have rarely considered what happens to those locked up by my favourite coppers. With 'The Guillotine Choice', I was given a glimpse into the world's most notorious prison through the eyes of an innocent man.

The story is compelling from the offset and grows in intensity with every passing chapter. On a technical note, there is nothing to drive the pace other than Kaci's well-being and survival, yet these two factors were more than enough to keep me turning pages until the bath water went cold. Again!

Kaci Mohand Saoudi is a wonderful character whose fears, humanity and integrity were inspirational and the way he was depicted owes much to the consummate skill of Malone and the fact that 'The Guillotine Choice' is actually based on a true story.

In Malone's hands, Kaci's story is a riveting account of one man's determination to survive in the worst prison in the world. While reading this excellent tale I couldn't help but find myself drawing comparisons with the plight of Nelson Mandela such was Kaci's quiet dignity and internal fortitude.

Reviewed by: G.S.

CrimeSquad Rating:

Back to review archive