Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before.
But Bruno's sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn't see this investigation as a priority - there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. Meanwhile, a Muslim youth named Sami turns up at a French army base in Afghanistan hoping to get home to St Denis. One of Bruno's old army comrades helps to smuggle Sami back to France, but the FBI aren't far behind. Then an American woman appears in St Denis with a warrant for Sami's extradition. Bruno must unravel these multiple mysteries, amidst pressure from his bosses, and find his own way to protect his town and its people.
©2014 Martin Walker (P)2014 WF Howes Ltd
Fast moving thriller without the nastiness of the book before (institutional homophobia).
Bruno finds himself at the centre of international intrigue, doing his best to protect a vulnerable adolescent he knows well, who's escaped slavery in Afghanistan, from an extremist hit squad, extradition to the USA - where learning disabled teenagers can face the death penalty - press attention, dodgy imams,career politicians and unethical psychiatrists. As usual, he's attracted to an unsuitable woman, an FBI agent with powerful family and a lethal force with a gun. You & I would be likely to give the Feds the body swerve, not our Bruno. He manages to solve a couple of other mysteries in the passing, dobbed on as usual by the mayor, and his occasional bedmate, the "mad Englishwoman" who is now posing as a Scot with a music hall accent, but since, after her mother's death, she's shown no awareness that Scots inheritance law differs from English law, she's clearly a fraud!
One thing this series does make clear, is that permissive gun laws are completely wrong!
Loved the characterisation and interplay between the characters and the passion for all things French. Also the development of Bruno's relationship with the mayor and Bruno's love-life proved interesting.
Thought the 3rd storyline about the rape too contrived and unnecessary.
4 stars because generally well narrated and with a good understanding of French provincial life
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