31.8.19

DEATH IN THE DORDOGNE: Bruno, Chief of Police 1, by Martin Walker

First in the enchanting series starring Bruno Courreges, a police officer in St. Denis, a small town in the fabled French Department of the Dordogne. Policing the small-town French way, Bruno knows every soul in St. Denis and has his fingers firmly on its pulse. Officials from Brussels here to make life miserable for the vendors at the local market? Bruno's on it, keeping track of the wily officials, and stopping local hotheads from making a bad situation explosive.
When a local man of North African descent is found brutally murdered, the first impulse it to tie it to the "Gestapo" from Brussels. But Gestapo has a harsh connotation in this part of France, which was occupied by the Nazis and resisted by two still-competing factions. The second inpulse is to tie the crime to past events that involved the real Gestapo. When a young man is found tied up in a sexually compromising position in a bedroom with Nazi paraphernalia, he's immediately thought the killer. But Bruno knows the boy, he'd coached him at rugby and tennis, and thinks he's not killer material. But who is?
Bruno must delve into the past to find out. But some secrets are better off unspoken and he has his work cut out for him. Will the Chief of Polcie be able to get to the bottom of this crime?
Much of the charm of this series is that Bruno is a man of the local area, and he loves living there. Ne has a home in the hills, and a hunting dog. He is part of local clubs, and the coach for many of them with the younger generation. In addition, he has a mentor/mentee relationship with the older city mayor. Every female with a pulse flirts with him. And one in particular catches his eye...
Keeping with my rule of no spoilers, that's all I'll write. But this is a series worth spending time savoring. I'm loving every one I've read so far, and the local knowledge has made me want to move to the Dordogne.
It's a five and then some.


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