A beloved village, a renowned family, a suspicious death - it's the latest adventure in the Dordogne for police chief Bruno. When Bruno is invited to the lavish birthday celebration of World War II flying ace and national icon Marco "the Patriarch" Desaix, it's the fulfillment of a boyhood dream. But when the party ends in the death of Gilbert, Marco's longtime friend, it's another day on the job for the chef de police. All signs point to a tragic accident, but Bruno isn't so sure. There is more to the Desaix family's lives and loyalties than meets the eye.
There is Victor, the patriarch's son, Gilbert's old comrade-in-arms and sometime rival; Victor's seductive wife, Madeleine, whose roving eye intrigues Bruno even more than her fierce political ambitions; Yevgeny, another son, an artist whose paintings seem to hold keys to the past; and the patriarch himself, whose postwar Soviet ties may have intersected all too closely with Gilbert's career in Cold War intelligence. Bruno is diverted by a dangerous conflict between a local animal rights activist and outraged hunters - as well as meals to cook, wine to share, and an ever more complicated romantic situation. But as his entanglement with the Desaix family grows and his suspicions heighten, Bruno's inquiries into Gilbert's life become a deadly threat to his own.
©2015 Walker and Watson, Ltd. (P)2015 Recorded Books
This story features a French policeman in a quaint French town who likes food, drink, his dog, and friends. That's the whole story. If you want to read a book about how the French eat, you might find this charming. If you want a well-paced mystery, characters that develop, humor, depth, or a memorable read, this author doesn't deliver. The mystery is very thin, the plot is slow, and character development is nil. It's ho-hum at best.
Love the author's obvious regard for this region of France. I listen to these for the description of life in Perigord and to follow the characters to which we've been introduced. This novel ended abruptly with loose ends that didn't quite fit together. A lackluster effort on the author's part.
I really enjoyed The Patriarch by Martin Walker. Sort of a cross between Donna Leon and Peter Mayle's Summer in Province. It's about a police chief in the south of France, lots of local detail and a real understanding of life, people and politics in a small French town. Has Leon's leisurely way of getting you almost living in the little French town. Not Venice, no canals but charming. Turns out it's part of a series so if you like it there's more!
Oh how I love Bruno!
This book reverts back to the daily life in St Denis unlike the previous book. I love the village, and Bruno's cooking, and the quirky residents and their problems. (Deer.)
The main story is wonderful. We are reminded a lot of the history between France and the Soviet Union. The new characters are very interesting but I was annoyed with Bruno at one point. I still miss Isabel.
Brilliant writing and excellent narration. A 5 star book!
This is a. Great addition to a great series. I learn something about France, cooking, hunting, village life and history from each book all the while challenged by a good mystery enacted by great characters!
I enjoyed the earlier novels in this series. They always included a moderate dose of political evangelism. Unfortunately this novel is mostly unbalanced political diatribe that makes heavy use of the strawman technique. The ghostly thin￼ plot, when one can find it, is flat and boring. Let us hope the author has exorcised his political demons and that the next installment in the Bruno series returns to form.
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