Top critical review
Good holiday read if you're heading for the south of France: are Martins O'Brien and Walker the same person?
on 14 August 2014
This is entertaining enough but it's hardly a five star read. Jacquot is immensely likeable. He's out of Marseilles in this one and deep in the French countryside. His life and relationship with Claudine is well-described. As is small town French life wonderfully-described and evoked.
The plot itself is readable enough. It links the Second World War to the present and the characters and storyline meander along pleasantly and intriguingly enough. The role of the Angel took the story rather further into the paranormal than I personally look for and the characters who commit the murders have, shall we say, numerous other options they choose not to deploy before summarily reaching for the shotgun.
The modern day German connection was intriguing but just fell away at one point. For the close attention the German authorities paid the case suggests they knew rather more about the present day links than was ever explained. And, without spoiling the outcome, once you do know the identity of the killer and the motives you don't immediately draw the conclusion that the case would have damaged modern-day German sensibilities. And at no point after the initial arrest does the modern day German angle play a part. So what was that all about?
It's all a pleasant enough holiday read, not least if your going to the south of France, and I'd happily read more of the series. But I think a mid-ranking rating is a more objective assessment than some of the rave reviews on here. It entertained me but it's not a classic. Finally, these books bear a striking similarity to the Bruno books written by Martin Walker set in a different part of Southern France albeit with less recipes in the Jacquot series. So is Martin Walker the same person as Martin O'Brien?