If a publisher is particularly celebrated for finding really cherishable novels and authors, attention must be paid. So, when the publisher Quercus (for instance) comes up with something new, those in the know are aware that it's usually something special. Is that the case with Martin Walkers Bruno, Chief of Police
Martin Walker has a solid journalistic background, and is the author of several acclaimed work of non-fiction, including The Cold War: A History, along with a historical novel,The Caves of Périgord -- but none of this is necessarily a copper-bottomed guarantee of success in the crime fiction genre. Fortunately, Bruno, Chief of Police turns out to be a quietly assured piece of work, full of quirky touches and characterised with real exuberance.
The eponymous Captain Bruno Courrèges is in charge of a modest force in the town of St Debis in the Périgord region of France (allowing Walker, of course, to utilises things hed gleaned for his previous novel set in the region), and Bruno is not your typical hard-hitting copper: he never carries the gun he owns, and barely needs to arrest people. But suddenly all is turmoil in the town as inspectors from Brussels swoop on the rural market, making many enemies. Bruno is worried by the fact that this phenomenon is invoking memories of the town's ignoble Vichy France past. Then an old man from a North African immigrant family is murdered
This is quirkily inventive stuff, and Walkers Bruno has all the auguries of the becoming a crime fiction favourite. --Barry Forshaw
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The pleasures of life in the Dordogne, some distinctive well-rounded characters and an intriguing mystery are a winning combination in Martin Walker's Bruno, Chief of Police ... Walker's relaxed style and good humour help to bring to life his engaging hero and his delightful home and make one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time' Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph. The Alexander McCall Smith of La France Profonde. No one should be allowed to go on holiday to France this summer without a copy' Francis Wheen. Hugely enjoyable and absolutely gripping... the Maigret of the Dordogne' Antony Beevor.