Walker, Martin - 'The Devil's Cave'
This beautifully written book is the fifth in the series about Bruno, the chief of police in a small French town called St Denis. It was written by Martin Walker, a prize-winning journalist who lives in America but spends his summers in the Dordogne region of France. One of the best things about this book is Bruno's love of cooking and the rich descriptions of the wonderful food he either prepares himself or eats in the restaurants in his town. Don't attempt to read this book when you are hungry!
The usual peace and quiet in St Denis is shattered one morning when the body of a young woman is discovered, floating down the river in an old punt. Much to Bruno's concern, it looks as if she has been subjected to a black magic ritual and, as talk of Satanism begins to bring a flood of curious tourists to the town, Bruno's work is cut out to save its reputation. As if this wasn't enough, the mayor asks for his help in getting to the bottom of a planning application, for development of a holiday resort near the town, and there is also a rather unpleasant case of domestic abuse that needs urgent attention. Poor Bruno is left with rather a lot on his plate, if you will pardon the pun. Fortunately, though, an unexpected but much welcomed new arrival helps him get back to top form. But, can he manage everything and solve the mystery of the unidentified woman before his beloved St Denis is damaged beyond repair?
This book is most definitely better read as part of its series and not as a stand-alone: I did enjoy it immensely but occasionally had the distinct feeling that I was missing something. Bruno is an extremely likeable character and his close relationship with Hector, his horse, along with the way he misses Gigi, his basset hound who was killed in an earlier instalment, endear him to the reader still further. I quite miss Bruno, now that I have finished reading THE DEVIL'S CAVE, and would like to get to know him better.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland