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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From star foreign correspondent to star thriller writer, 16 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Devil's Cave: A Bruno Courrèges Investigation (Bruno Chief of Police 5) (Hardcover)
The Devil's Cave: A Bruno Courrèges Investigation (Bruno Chief of Police 5)Martin Walker was the most experienced foreign correspondent of his generation. He served as the Guardian's star foreign reporter in Moscow getting to grips with the last years of communism. He then switched to Washington where he discovered Bill Clinton and introduced the Arkansas Rhodes Scholar to British readers as the man who would bring the moribund Democratic Party back to life. His last posting was as the paper's European editor where he got front page scoops from Brussels before the Guardian relegated European news to its current minor status without ever a single page devoted to the common continent. All the while Walker was writing elegant essays and book on geo-political books and biographies. Today he is s star turn at high level business pow-wows where he offers visions of trends of the modern world that CEOs need to understand as they position their firms to survive and flourish. But he cannot stop writing and has drawn on his summer base in the Perigord Noir, close to the caves of Lascaux in the Dordogne to produce a series of novels which open windows into how today's France lives, eats, makes love, and deal with Brits. Translated into 15 languages with over a million sales, Walker is a thinking person's latterday Peter Mayne save that you get a tightly plotted crime novel in addition to a vade mecum of Dordogneshire. The latest, fifth book in the series is The Devil's Cave. It stars, a small town's chief of police (the only cop in fact), Bruno Courreges, an ex-hero who saved women in the Bosnian war, guiding us effortlessly through the way modern France works. The plot concerns Satanism, sex-swapping parties, Arab cocaine dealers and dodgy planning permission - all intermingled with the cuisine, culture and history of the barely-disguised south-west French town where Walker lives when not in Washington.

It is a novel, but as we look at Dominique Strauss-Kahn or police raiding Nicolas Sarkozy's flat in Paris in connection with foreign financing of his election campaigns it's hard to forget that Walker was a great Europe editor and knows the complex hierarchies of French politics better than most French citizens. At a time when such dross as the "quivering rod" fantasy porn of EL James swamps our bookshops, it's good to see that British publishers are bringing out well-crafted and enjoyable novels fit for intelligent adults to read. Aas Ryanair decants hundreds of passengers each days on its flight to Bergerac there is no better guide to the Dordogne than Martin Walker's Bruno and the crimes he has to solve as he deals with the local mayor, businessmen, and his two lovers - a Scottish horsewoman and a rising women police officer based in Paris. I cannot wait for the sixth one.
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