Bruno, Chief of Police

Bruno, Chief of Police

Book - 2008
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A Recipe for Success
* Take a rural commune in the heart of the Dordogne and a one-man police department by the name of Bruno.
* Add a brutal murder with the hallmarks of a racial crime against immigrant workers from North Africa.
* Season with clues that point to unsettled feuds from the Nazi legacy of World War II.
* Serve with Gallic charm in all good bookshops as the first book in a brilliant crime fiction series.

Set in the street markets, cobbled squares, vineyards and farmland of the Dordogne area of France, Bruno, Chief of Police features Captain Bruno Courrèges, a man as charming and eccentric as he is wise. A formidable investigator, Bruno must rise to the challenge when the head of an Algerian family is murdered and the peace of Bruno's beloved village of St. Denis is shattered. Racism is the obvious conclusion, and the son of a local doctor who is caught playing sex games surrounded by Nazi paraphernalia is the immediate suspect. But Bruno knows his people well and sees a more complex explanation lurking in the memories and unsettled feuds of the German occupation.

This addictively readable novel, filled with the sights and sounds -- and politics -- of the French countryside, launches a stunning new crime fiction series.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2008.
ISBN: 9781554682652
9781554682645
Branch Call Number: WAL
Characteristics: 262 p.

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w
wyenotgo
Aug 22, 2018

There are many things to like about this book:
- A pervasive sense of place, local atmosphere and the pace of life in a small French market town.
- Convincing and complex personalities; Bruno is no one-dimensional cop; he has been wounded but is not cynical, has retained his humanity.
- A story line that holds together from beginning to end, makes sense, never farfetched.
- Frequent pauses in the pursuit of a solution, while Bruno takes time for love, friends and above all, food -- this is, after all, France (we are even treated to menus and recipes!).
- A highly informative insight into the political history of France and Algeria from WW2 to the present day, a topic not likely to be at all familiar to most readers.
So, if you're eager for an intense, action-packed crime drama, this one is not for you. But neither is it a tea-cozy mystery; the crime at issue is brutal enough and the cultural/racial tensions in the community are significant. Walker has achieved a remarkable balance, presenting a highly readable mystery populated by engaging characters.

JessicaGma Jul 23, 2018

A really well done police procedural set in France where Bruno is the chief of the small town and he knows everyone. The later twist in plot was something I knew little about, so it was also informative. I look forward to reading more.

Nicr Jun 24, 2018

Police procedural in a glorious setting, with a likeable, laid-back but obviously competent, small-town cop. Really interesting immersion in issues of French culture such as E.U. regulations, the Front National, and the massive immigration from Arab countries, with plenty of historical perspective. But everything stops for a gourmet meal. Terrific first entry in the Bruno Courrèges series.

p
patcarstensen
Jul 03, 2017

Finally, a French mystery that explains how the various police and legal institutions fit together.

j
jcosner13
May 09, 2017

A very interesting view of everything French. Bruno is a renaissance man -- he loves to cook and entertain, he's faithful to his country, town, and friends; he usually chooses the least violent method of apprehending offenders, and is an all-round nice guy -- but there's steel in that lovely muscled body, and Bruno isn't afraid of danger or standing up for what's right. If you're tired of the same-old detective novels, give Bruno a try. Besides solving mysteries, you might learn some French!

k
kyle000
Feb 25, 2017

I am really enjoying this series!

r
Rubicat
Feb 10, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable novel. It could have been a bit less filled with food references and a bit more about a killing & subsequent investigation but I suppose that will gradually change as the series goes on. I am looking forward to reading more of Bruno's books. He is a really likable character and the town/commune is charming & idyllic - very much like Three Pines/Trois Pins in Louise Penney's series with Armand Gamache as the chief detective. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot and intend to read the rest of the series as soon as I can get them.

d
DorisWaggoner
Nov 25, 2016

Bruno, Chief of Police , the only police officer in a small town in the south of France is a former soldier who's chosen the slow pace and good cooking (much of it his own) of a beautifully described countryside. He's more interested in justice than in the letter of the law, and teaches tennis to small boys, so that they will grow up to be good citizens. It works, mostly. So when the first murder in memory occurs, it's a shock to everyone. The National Police are sent in to help. Bruno and his friend the Mayor don't like their methods--except that Bruno's very attracted to Isabelle, the only woman National Police officer. The murder victim is a reclusive elderly Arab from North Africa, one of a group who settled peacefully in the area; the younger generations are French citizens, and many are good rugby players--important to the French. What Bruno, the Mayor, and Isabelle conclude makes me want to read the rest of the series. I deducted some stars because a bit of explanation or translation of French phrases and history would have made the beginning of the book easier for me to understand. I soon got into it, however.

m
maipenrai
Nov 05, 2016

The first book in the Bruno, Chief of Police Investigation series

LPL_KateG May 31, 2016

This first-in-series fills the senses - Martin Walker transports you right to rural France and the quirky, quaint community of St. Denis. While this has some cozy mystery elements, it's also based around a crime that is not for the faint of heart. A great blend of charm and grime (and wine!)

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