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The Ghost Riders of Ordebec: A Commissaire Adamsberg novel Paperback – 27 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (27 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099569558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099569558
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This latest outing for the offbeat Commissaire Adamsberg is [Vargas'] best" (Independent)

"After decades in which crime fiction in French was dominated by the Belgian author Georges Simenon, it has an indisputable new star in Fred Vargas" (Joan Smith Sunday Times)

"An early contender for outstanding crime novel of the year" (Sunday Times)

"A glorious mix of myth, quirky observation and gallic humour" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Her novels about the kindly, quixotic Commissaire Adamsberg are unique, presenting us with a France that resembles Simenon’s in its concreteness but with a fantastical, even surreal, twist: werewolves, vampires and, in her latest novel, an army of ghosts on horseback… Her work is like a baked Camembert among the smorgasbord of chilly Scandinavian realism that dominates the foreign crime fiction market here, delicious comfort food for the sophisticated palate" (Jake Kerridge Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

France’s bestselling crime writer, and three-time winner of the CWA International Dagger, sends the quirky and original Commissaire Adamsberg far outside his jurisdication in a chilling tale of evil-doers who disappear after visitations from a band of ghostly horsemen

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JK on 26 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every time I start to read a new Fred Vargas I rejoice to have returned to a world in which a character like Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is able to rise to the position of Commissaire in the 5th Arrondissement.

This must be Adamsberg's most mysterious case yet, concerning as it does the mediaeval Norman legend of Hellequin's horde of ghost riders, who appear to the lucky (or cursed) medium, in the company of perhaps half-a-dozen local scoundrels, whom they have 'seized'. Within weeks, back in real life, the scoundrels are no more, each in turn falling victim to unpleasant and untimely deaths.

The perfect setting, then, for Adamsberg's style of policing: subjunctive, metaphorical, seeing everywhere symbols, where those literal dogmatists around him see only the quotidian. Adamsberg takes his time; he thinks by browsing, he has this peculiar and inexplicable gift of divining traces in the world of what has passed before - it is poetic, and inspiring.

None of which is to say that these novels are in any way difficult, highbrow, or lacking in action. The bodies pile up, there is a dash, where necessary, of police procedural, corruption, etc.

For a great crime thriller, and for so much more besides, this is as good as anything by Fred Vargas, and much better than pretty much anything else in the genre you'll read this year.

Buy it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tt on 1 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The old characters in the series are here, with their eccentricities and foibles of full display. New characters add to the plot and feel of the book like strong flavours compliment the other ingredients in a well judged meal. Neither characters nor plots would work with a lesser writer but here they combine to make an intriguing, sparkling, pacy and witty read.

Try a Commissaire Adamsberg book, you'll either love it or hate it, I'm hooked. Lets have the rest available on Kindle.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Zoe Banks on 19 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I don't know what it is about this series of books but I get this warm fuzzy feeling of contentment inside me when I pick up and start reading, even if I have read one of her books 10 times.

I just float away to another world that is so wonderful.

I only wish that she would write more often but that then might take away the special unique way of writing tat she has.

However, please, if you are new to this author start at the beginning of the series otherwise some of the things talked about in this book will not make sense due to the continuation of part of the story.

Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By honeycomb on 17 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I eagerly await each book by Fred Vargas and they do not seem to come along too often. Please, Ms. Vargas , can you write quicker? This convoluted, magical mysterious and funny plot held me riveted and I did not guess the solution. In a strange way, it reminds me a bit of both Barbara Nadel and Phil Rickman's work where there is also this lingering doubt that the logical explanation is not necessarily the whole answer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I think I should first point out that if you read this book and think the Furious Army mentioned here sounds slightly familiar, it is a legend that is told in many countries in Europe, especially in Northern Europe. I think there are at least three or four such legends in this country alone, with probably the one in Devon being the most famous.

If you have never read a Commissaire Adamsberg book before then you should be warned that they are quirky to say the least. Indeed the stories are full of humour and quirkiness, as well as providing good mysteries. At the start of this book you can see how Adamsberg's brain works, as he investigates a supposed death by heart attack.

For Adamsberg and his eccentric team nothing is ever straight forward. Whilst the Commissaire rescues a pigeon in distress a woman from Normandy has come to see him with regards to the Furious Army riding once again through Ordebec. Adamsberg needs Danglard just to find out what an earth this army is, and seems surprised that everyone else seems to already know this piece of folklore. And so whilst Adamsberg is given an important case of arson and murder to solve in Paris, he also manages to get the case in Ordebec, where a murder has been committed.

Taking in an old legend, superstition, devious murders, and secrets that have been hidden for years once again we are treated to another great story from Fred Vargas, with a new host of other oddball characters. If you think you may want to try one of these books please be aware that to a certain degree they are mad, in the way that only the French seem capable of doing. If you are looking for something that is action packed and more of a thriller, then this isn't for you; but if you are looking for something quirky, with some great humour and full of eccentrics then this may be just up your street.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bluecashmere. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my first acquaintance with Fred Vargas, but it certainly won't be my last. A far remove from the hard-boiled school of crime fiction and from the routine police procedurals now so common, I found this novel most refreshingly original. The writing is keenly intelligent and the whole atmosphere highly distinctive. Commissaire Adamsberg is just one amongst a cast of engaging and idiosyncratic characters.

The style is droll and whimsical, compelling attention to the moment rather than the ultimate outcome. Ms Vargas is adept at finding interest in aspects of life commonly overlooked. She writes with thought and perception, as well as subtle humour and a keenly observing eye, absorbing our interest in the particular. The plot probably lacks total plausibility, and I'm rather uncertain about the effectiveness of the final twist, but here it is the journey that grips, the destination secondary. This is not a compulsive page-turner, forgotten once the outcome is known. Rather it is a book to settle down with, to relish in a leisurely style. Perhaps not to everyone's taste, but for me anyway, a delightful find. I look forward to further adventures with Adamsberg and his colleagues.
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