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French detective with Gallic charm and sheer class,
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This review is from: Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg) (Paperback)
I keep forgetting just how much I enjoy Fred Vargas. I picked up the first three novels a couple of years ago and devoured them but got distracted by other works and never went further. However I heard mention of one of the novels on a radio 4 book programme a couple of months ago and bought the next three in paperback.
'Wash this blood' starts off as an obsession - Commissaire Adamsberg is reminded of a period in his earlier life when his brother was accused of murder and Adamsberg had to lie to protect him. He had plotted the path of serial killer across France for 40 years but had assumed that when his main suspect (a powerful judge) had died then that was an end. Now someone else has been killed in a similar way and Adamsberg is confused.
The first three hundred pages are wonderful. Sian Reynolds translates with wonderful sense of pace and space, characters are well drawn and even newcomers could pick up the nuances quickly. Adamsberg is a fascinating character and his mercurial mind is well-served by the writing.
In fact the only thing less than satisfying about the book is the denouement. The links seem forced and the motive rushed. The rest is just perfect reading for a winter's evening.