Fred Vargas

An Uncertain Place

""This is an original and unusual work, peopled by original and unusual characters." "


Commissaire Adamsberg, along with Commandant Danglard and Sargeant Estalere, are visiting London for a three day conference to discuss “the harmonisation of migratory flows”. Not exciting stuff, but the days are enlivened when a colleague from Scotland Yard describes his latest case where a pile of shoes containing severed feet is discovered outside Highgate Cemetery.

When the French policemen return home they are called to a brutal murder in a suburban home. The trail from this leads to Serbia, taking in vampires along the way and leads back to the London feet.

Adamsberg discovers secrets from his own past and finds himself deeply involved in the motives and methods of the murderer.

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Adamsberg is a strange and infuriating hero. He has a philosophical turn of phrase and observes his fellow detectives and members of the public with a detached and curious mind. He understands their human foibles and attaches some whimsical and curious motives to their actions. He follows his own path with little regard for his impact on other human beings. Always, his roots in rural France are close to his heart. The story grabs the attention as it is so bizarre. Adamsberg may not believe in vampires but there are certainly many of the characters who do, and it is their faith in the supernatural and their fear of it which drives the plot on. This is an original and unusual work, peopled by original and unusual characters. I certainly enjoyed it, even if Adamsberg is not entirely “simpatico”.

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