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Bruno, Chief of Police | [Martin Walker]

Bruno, Chief of Police

Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life - living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention.
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Publisher's Summary

Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life - living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels.

He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period's sinister legacy.

©2008 Walker and Watson Ltd.; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (258 )
5 star
 (84)
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3 star
 (53)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (191 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (194 )
5 star
 (86)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    private 09-11-14
    private 09-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Not bad but not at all good"
    Would you try another book from Martin Walker and/or Robert Ian MacKenzie?

    No. The book seemed designed to win fans by using all the things the author thinks the reader would like. For instance it's full of uninteresting food porn.
    The reader made every woman sound like an idiot.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Better women's voices


    Any additional comments?

    It's fine to listen to but there is nothing special about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PickyPicky 09-22-13
    PickyPicky 09-22-13

    I adore really well-written fiction, mystery series, and historical fiction, and delight in finding well-narrated translations.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Bruno, his French village, + a mystery! Oh La La!"

    The town and the characters are more important than the mystery, though it's a doozie, illustratiing how WWII's aftermath just keeps on giving.....Great first book in this series, glad there are more!!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Share Faerber St. Louis, MO, US 09-15-13
    Share Faerber St. Louis, MO, US 09-15-13 Member Since 2015

    I am an artist and I love to listen to books while I work. Books have always been an important part of my life. Audible Rocks!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    256
    ratings
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    625
    67
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    "A Surprising GEM loved it!"

    Wow. I loved this book. A slow start but it grabs you, and I loved the village and the characters! I wanted to go live there and know these people. Add in a murder mystery with its roots in the history of this region of France, and you have one of my favorite books.
    Part of that was because I was so surprised by it.
    Wrong title I think!
    Give it a try!
    I am going out to get a french cookbook!

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 02-26-13
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2009

    Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
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    "Fine Characters, Satisfying Story"
    Where does Bruno, Chief of Police rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'd put it in among the top 25% of the books I've listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Without seeming frenetic, a lot goes on in this story, and even the minor characters are well defined. And Bruno is a rarity among men; he's content with his life, even as he is open to new experiences.


    What does Robert Ian MacKenzie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His pacing, as always, is very measured, which makes it easy to visualize each scene.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I wouldn't say my reaction was extreme. But I was very happy to find an affable character to follow through a series of books, and to discover another author whose narrative style fits like a comfortable glove.


    Any additional comments?

    If I didn't know who the author was, I'd have sworn this must have been written by Alexander McCall Smith. It's uncanny how similar Walker and McCall Smith are in style, tone, pacing, character development and philosophy.

    Within this book some serious subjects are confronted: racism, xenophobia, murder, rape, wartime atrocities, drugs, love, friendship, loyalty, and morality, yet they are considered and discussed without being preachy.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thierry 10-01-13
    Thierry 10-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Needs a French narrator!"
    What would have made Bruno, Chief of Police better?

    A narrator with a French or neutral accent would have made this audio book spectacular.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bruno


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator has an upper class British accent. Bruno is a lower class French person. The British accent is completely distracting. The narrator would be great for a James Bond novel but ruins this book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I loved the story and will read the other novels in the series instead of listening to them.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 09-04-12
    Barbara 09-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great narrator with the wrong book..."
    Where does Bruno, Chief of Police rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the middle of the pack, would be upper middle if Robert Ian MacKenzie hadn't read the character as though Bruno were Carson the butler of Downton Abbey. Martin Walker the author might be an Oxford-educated British ex-pat, but his/my hero Bruno Courreges the chief of police is supposed to be French! Bruno just might have more common sense in his little finger than 99% of the rest of the world put together, but Bruno was an orphan who got his education in the army, not at Harrow or Oxford.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bruno, of course.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Robert Ian MacKenzie’s performances?

    MacKenzie was perfect in his reading of Mark Helprin's Freddie and Fredricka, which unfortunately does NOT work for Bruno, the French village chief of police.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As you probably know by now I had an extreme reaction to MacKenzie's reading of the book. It was phenomenally annoying. The book itself is an excellent variation of the British "cozy" murder mystery, and in the right voice would have been just what I was looking for. I will read the remainder of the series and keep my ear out better uses of MacKenzie's prodigious talent.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-26-12

    Words form the heart, sound forms the soul, intrigue forms the mind.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very good listen."
    If you could sum up Bruno, Chief of Police in three words, what would they be?

    Yummy, Intriguing, Current


    What other book might you compare Bruno, Chief of Police to and why?

    The MC Beaton books, small village, smart cop, with a love life that is unresolved. I like Bruno better though, he is an incredible cook and seems to have a better outlook on life.


    What about Robert Ian MacKenzie???s performance did you like?

    Good characterizations and seemed to capture what the author was intending.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not that I can remember.


    Any additional comments?

    The writing is good and keeps you listening, wonderful characters, great descriptions and a look at current problems in France that I knew nothing about.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward G. Mitchell 02-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good listen if you are going to visit France"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A little more lively reading would be nice.


    If you???ve listened to books by Martin Walker before, how does this one compare?

    This is similar to the other Bruno books I have read or listened to.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Robert Ian MacKenzie???s performances?

    Perhaps


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    While the book is a little slow, it is still a nice listen. A definite listen if you are going to the French countryside for vacation.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 09-13-13
    Mary United States 09-13-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like a tour of french wine country"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, interesting mystery and wonderfully developed local culture and scenery.


    What other book might you compare Bruno, Chief of Police to and why?

    Hmmmm, kind of unique.


    What about Robert Ian MacKenzie’s performance did you like?

    His multiple voices with French accents were very well done.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, like good wine, wanted to savor over time.


    Any additional comments?

    Way to go Bruno!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ArtC 08-06-12
    ArtC 08-06-12 Member Since 2010

    Mysteries, classics, non-fiction, time travel, Bounty hunters, grim reapers... anything but vampires, please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
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    536
    18
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    "A weekend in Provence."
    What did you love best about Bruno, Chief of Police?

    I adore books that transport you to another place and let you eat, sleep, and look around while keeping you entertained with a good story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was interesting to learn a little more about French immegration and political history. I had google a few of the mentioned skirmishes to get a feel for the implied import.


    What about Robert Ian MacKenzie’s performance did you like?

    Believable. Just haughty enough.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A little egotistical, but then the best French Detectives are, now, aren't they?


    Any additional comments?

    Bought the next two. . . He's doing a pretty good job of not being formulaic, but this first is the most enthralling.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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