I’m not sure why I downloaded this to my Kindle though I think it was as simple as I wanted to read more crime set in France as I’d only read (and loved) Fred Vargas centred around Paris.
Now Benoît Courrèges aka Bruno is the chief of police in the small town of St. Denis in southern France, which has a fabulous approach to interference of Brussels in their local market. Mostly involving potatoes. Being the only policeman and being friendly and sociable means that Bruno knows everyone and their business, which is a bit of a shock when one of the locals is murdered.
This leads to an interesting dynamic as France’s other law agencies get involved due to the nature of the murder including some of the countries high flying politicians and judges. Not only is a killing a rare event but the apparent motivations has more wide ranging implications for the community of St. Dennis and the country, hence the spotlight.
This is very much a story of a community and as most of the murder investigation is out of Bruno’s hands it is up to him to visit his neighbours and deal with the aftermath. Though like any good detective fiction Bruno is the only person to put the pieces of the jigsaw people together and shows up the outsiders with his local knowledge.
Martin Walker is a well travelled reporter and spent most of his career working for the guardian including placed in Moscow and the United States, and being European editor and assistant editor. So centring his story in much a small canvas maybe surprising. But Walker really made me pine for rural life. Though I might need to move to France to enjoy it fully.
I was so hooked after reading it bought the next one and had it there waiting within seconds. Ebooks are great for that. If you like your crime a little cosier you probably will too. Though you might need to wait a little longer if you like physical books.