Martin Walker

Bruno, Chief of Police

""A very good start to a promising series.""


In the small French community of St Denis in the Dordogne, life moves slowly.

Bruno Courreges, the Chief of Police for the commune, seemingly spends most of his time trying to protect the local market stallholders from coming under the scrutiny of EU inspectors. This all changes, however, when the elderly Hamid al-Bakir, the grandfather of the commune's Muslim family is found murdered. Markings on the body suggest the murder might be race related, which is reinforced by the presence of far right groups in the region. However, Bruno believes that the motive for murder is to be found nearer to home, and may be connected to the victim's experiences in the second world war.

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This a charming new book from experienced journalist Martin Walker. I initially was concerned that the book would be written from an English standpoint, emphasising how quaint the region is with its old fashioned view of the world. However, although Bruno is certainly an old fashioned policeman, the story that enfolds in a modern day one. The narrative contains references to racism, drugs, EU bureaucracy and the social tensions found amongst a diverse mix of people found in many French villages. There is also, for those who want it, plenty of lyricism too, including descriptions of the markets, bars and restaurants and cobbled squares. A very good start to a promising series.

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