Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker

Protagonist: Bruno Courrèges
Setting: St. Denis, Dordogne region, France
Rating: 4.4
An old man, who is a war hero and an Algerian immigrant, is killed, a swastika cut into this chest. His war medal is missing and, inexplicably, a photo from his youth, when he was on a soccer team. The death sparks racial tensions in the quiet French village of St. Denis, where Bruno Courrèges is police chief. The national police are called in to investigate, but Bruno plays a large part in the investigation.

Walker, who has lived in France, draws an idyllic French setting -- with its farmers market, its famous caves with centuries-old drawings, and patriotic parades. Bruno whips up wonderful meals, whether for a picnic or a dinner at home. But there's also a dark underside in St. Denis, and Walker brings this to life. The resolution bothered me a bit, but this was still an enjoyable book.

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