An unwelcome delegation from Paris causes upset in St Denis, but is it really cause for murder? The first installment in the acclaimed and internationally bestselling BRUNO, CHIEF OF POLICE series.
'Hugely enjoyable and absolutely gripping. Martin Walker has got off to a flying start in what promises to be a great series. Bruno will be the Maigret of the Dordogne' Antony Beevor
Introducing Captain Bruno Courreges: he goes by the grand title of Chief of Police, though in truth he's the only municipal policeman in the small town of St Denis in the Perigord, south-west France. Bruno sees his job as protecting St Denis from its enemies, and these sometimes include the capital's bureaucrats and their EU counterparts in Brussels.
Market day in the ancient town. Inspectors from Brussels have been swooping on France's markets, attempting to enforce EU hygiene rules. The locals call the Brussels bureaucrats 'Gestapo' and Bruno supports their resistance. Although, here in what was Vichy France, words like 'Gestapo' and 'resistance' still carry a profound resonance.
When an old man, head of an immigrant North African family, is found murdered, suspicion falls on the son of the local doctor, found in flagrante playing sex games surrounded by Nazi paraphernalia.
But Bruno isn't convinced, and suspects this crime may have its roots in that most tortured period of recent French history - the Second World War, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. Now it's up to him to find the killer - but will the people of St Denis allow him to go digging through the past in order to do it?