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Have Mercy On Us All (Commissaire Adamsberg #4)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  2,939 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
Each day in honour of a Parisian tradition, a town crier calls out the local news to all who will listen. Over the course of a few days a number of disturbing messages are slipped into his box, messages of portentous and malicious intent referring to the Black Death. Strange marks have also appeared on the doors of several buildings: symbols once used to ward off the plagu ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 23rd 2003 by The Harvill Press (first published 2001)
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Hannah Lockhart
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the Nancy Drew books and stayed up way past my bedtime with a torch to read them, even though they scared me silly. The big draughty country houses we stayed in during the mid-term breaks were often the setting for my reading, which probably contributed to the experience.
In my adult life, I've weirdly refrained from murder-mysteries or detective novels, even though they were an obsession when I was a child. I've always been interested in crime - an avid wat
Stefania T.
Dec 18, 2011 Stefania T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lettore avvisato, mezzo salvato: preparatevi ad uno stucchevolissimo elogio.

La distanza fra Fred Vargas e la (mia personalissima) Idea di Perfezione è la strutturazione della trama nel suo elemento 'giallo': sì, d'accordo, Fred Vargas è una giallista e scrive, essendolo, romanzi...Gialli. Ma non è questo il punto.

Ma non doveva essere un elogio stucchevole? Certamente. Ho preferito anticipare l'unica, davvero l'unica, pagliuzza nell'occhio della divina Perfezione e, soprattutto, ho dovuto (sono s
Jim Coughenour
Fred Vargas is the nom de plume of French historian, archeologist and writer Frédérique Audouin-Rouzeau, author of my favorite policiers. Only four of her books have been translated into English so far; it's nice to know I have something to live for.

I have a passion for intricate, existentially-eviscerated crime fiction (especially of the Scandinavian variety), so it's with the fanaticism of the connoisseur that I acclaim Vargas as the best of the very best. These books (I've starred all of them
Roozbeh Estifaee
فرد وارگاس را در ایران نمیشناختهایم. او تاریخدان و باستانشناسی فرانسوی است که داستانهای معمایی و جنایی هم مینویسد. این اولین ترجمه از داستانهای اوست، و چهارمین کتابش است که کمیسر آدامسبرگ در آن ظاهر شده است. ژان باپتیست آدامسبرگ، کارآگاه اصلی و تکرار شونده فرد وارگاس، بازرس پلیس پاریس است. مردی میانسال است که تنها زندگی میکند و البته معشوقهای هم دارد که گاهی او را میبیند. آدامسبرگ کارآگاه هیچ شیوه عملی خاصی برای کارش ندارد و صرفا خودش را در جریان ماجرایی که دنبال آن است قرار میدهد.
«زود برو، دیر
Danilo De rossi
Jul 24, 2016 Danilo De rossi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terzo romanzo della serie con protagonista Adamsberg e, finora, il più convincente. È indubbia l'eleganza della scrittura della Vargas, così come la preparazione che sta dietro ogni suo libro. Ho trovato molto interessante il richiamo della Peste, in particolare tutte quelle informazioni che l'autrice fornisce e che raramente si trovano nei manuali di storia. Davvero una lettura piacevole e coinvolgente.
Roger Brunyate
Overcomplex Mystery in a Magnificent Translation

Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of the French historian, archaeologist and writer Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau. Think Umberto Eco, only younger, French, and female. But definitely an academic with a fascination for language and the ways in which distant history can impinge upon present-day events. In this case, the historical legacy is the Plague, a.k.a the Black Death. It appears that some madman is loose in Paris aiming to spread the disease by means o
Sep 19, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great find! (Thanks to Hannah for first reviewing, then recommending this book.) I wouldn't have come across this in a month of Sundays, as Fred Vargas isn't as popular on this side of the pond as she seemingly is on t'other side. What a shame.

I loved it from beginning to end and just gobbled it up in the last 24 hours. There is an archaic resonance to it which is particularly pleasing -- not necessarily in the plotline, but in the dialogue and the construction of it. I can't quite put m
Je me lance pour la première fois dans la lecture d'un Vargas, sur les conseils de quelques amies... En effet, je ne me doutais pas que cette auteure était si célèbre et si connue pour ses personnages farfelus ! En faisant quelques recherches sur le livre, j'ai pu découvrir tout cela, et avoir encore plus envie de me lancer dans la lecture de ce livre. J'ai lu quelques avis ayant étayé ma curiosité, et j'ai fini par me lancer. Le roman policier, ce n'est pas quelque chose que je lis tous les jou ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Reinhold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
In Paris kommt das Grauen mit lautstarker Vorankündigung - Joss, ein ehemaliger Seemann, hat den Beruf seines Urgroßvaters ergriffen und wurde zu einem Ausrufer, der für fünf Franc Nachrichten die man ihm in eine Box wirft auf einem Platz verkündet. In letzter Zeit finden sich darunter altfranzösische und lateinische Texte, die weder Joss noch sein Hausherr, der ehemalige Lehrer Decambrais, zuordnen können. Erst als noch einige weitere Umstände offenbar werden, verstehen die beiden vor allem abe ...more
{ NB : Se vuoi leggere l'articolo completo su Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg clicca qui: L'Indagatore del Mondo che Fluttua. Grazie :) }

«1996. Francia, Parigi: la culla dei sognatori senza speranza. Parigi, la città di pietra, in grado di restituire il mondo minerale a chi ha trascorso la sua vita sulle montagne. Parigi, la città delle luci, con la sua bellezza imperitura, la sua arte e i suoi boulevard interminabili, pervasa dal profumo di pane fresco, di carta e di fumo.»

«[...]Osservando Jean
Aug 05, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Harry Bosch, Harry Hole, and Montalbano
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
A fabulous new detective for me, Chief Inspector Adamsberg from Paris. Yes, I'm a police procedural/crime/thriller junkie who is doing her crime around the globe tour in books. This book, and the detective, and the other characters are delicious; it's like making a new discovery. Take your usual flawed detective character, but make him not flawed because of alcohol, and make him French... stir in a few dozens of other delicious characters, all with a French (I guess?) sense of humor, add a bizar ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I really enjoyed this mystery. Vargas does a wonderful job of creating an atmosphere and story well before Adamsberg is involved. The people in the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet are so well-drawn and feel so fully dimensional that one is almost let down when Adamsberg makes his appearance. I just felt like I was ready to move into this neighborhood with its town crier extraordinaire. This tale of murder, deception and a new wave of plague is a compelling and -dare I say - fun read. Given her day job, i ...more
Feb 18, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Superb police procedural set in Paris and featuring Chief Inspector Adamsberg, blessed with off-kilter handsomeness, a complete lack of sartorial interest, and an innovative system for remembering names.

An odd backwards-4 symbol begins appearing painted on Paris apartment doors, and a neighborhood town crier (with a criminal past) begins receiving mysterious messages about a coming plague. Soon after, strangled, blackened bodies begin to appear behind unmarked doors, and Adamsberg fears that som
Jul 15, 2013 verbava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: riddles
хороший, хоч і концептуально близький до "чоловіка, який малює сині кола" детективний сюжет з подвійним, навіть потрійним дном, та й сама історія чуми чого варта (а фред варгас розбирається, вона археолог та історик). може, фінал трошки overcrowded, але все одно добре вийшло.
ще приємно, що тут з'являються троє євангелістів із іншої серії, вкрай доречно й природно, бо що може бути логічніше, ніж звернутися по консультацію з середньовічних текстів про чуму до знайомого через треті руки медієвіста.
Aug 20, 2008 Elizabeth added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Ann Swinney
This was a book group book. No, the book group did not read it in French, that was just me adding an extra level of challenge, and as a result it was the Only Book I Read This Summer. But, comparing it occasionally with the English translation, I feel it is fair to say it is a much better book in French. The characters are wonderful and quirky, the writing is gritty and lyrical all at once (the rhythm of the converstions appealed to me). The book group pointed out that a lot of the plot was pate ...more
Oct 19, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this one as much as the first. I'd read more of the series, but with limited interest. One comment on this one is that I couldn't suspend disbelief regarding a 12 year old from the slums of Detroit emigrating to Paris alone!
Jun 27, 2016 Hortense rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Encore une fois, merci Fred Vargas. Quel bon moment j'ai passé avec Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, ce commissaire si étrange, complexe et tellement touchant. L'histoire autour de la peste est très intéressante, puisque truffée de références et je suis contente d'avoir pu en apprendre un peu plus sur cette épidémie très mystérieuse. Je suis pressée de lire le prochain, mais je me laisse toujours quelques livres entre deux Vargas pour ne pas m'en lasser et avoir ce coup de coeur, presque à chaque fois.
Feb 18, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen various orderings of the Commissaire Adamsberg novels, and I don't know which is accurate. This one feels fairly early, but it has a different translator and doesn't seem to me to have quite the sparkle and whimsy I expected. The author is an authority on the Black Death, so I assume that all the lore in this one, in which contemporary Paris is put into a panic over the possibility of a new outbreak, is accurate. (I had never heard before that in the 14th century people were aware that ...more
Apr 15, 2014 Gay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Commissaire Adamsburg is after a serial killer who is imitating a series of events which occurred during the Black Plague. Houses in Paris are showing up with backwards number 4's on their doors... meaning they are protected from the Plague. But are they? And now there are thousands of doors painted that way. Who is doing this? The murders are done to people who have been singled out for death, but why? What has this got to do with the Plague? There is a character who reads the news in public as ...more
Aug 26, 2015 ???!!! rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Every time I read Vargas's novels I always get confused of the era the story was set until objects like mobile phones and cars appear in the sentence. Hence her novels always have a sense of classic yet modern at the same time. I believe this is also the many paradoxes in life that she often portrayed in her books.

This novel didn't grabbed me as much as her other ones, took a long time to warm up to it. It wasn't till about half way the story finally every element was in place and the game begin
Apr 07, 2012 AC marked it as books-i-don-t-quite-seem-to-get  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
The main character is a sailor from Breton who, presumably, speaks in a Breton dialect. So the translator, genius that he is, decided that the way to translate this is to make him sound like a lower-class british sailor 'heave-ho, on yer arse, mate... oh, lordy, lordy!' from Liverpool (or whatever).

I can't deal with this shit... life's too short. I've lost confidence in ole' Fred.
Charles Kerns
Another slow-baked, almost fun, quirky mystery. The Fred Vargas formula is getting clearer as I read more of her books: Dwell on a set of offbeat characters--not crazy, but out of the ordinary. Stick them in a location in France that you cover in detail for the next 300 plus pages. Have strange events and a complicated murder series that somehow relates to the Middle Ages. (Like with werewolves or the plague). Bring in Detective Adamsberg and his logical assistant. Let A’berg get a feel for the ...more
Roman Zarichnyi
Sep 08, 2016 Roman Zarichnyi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Фред Варґас — це псевдонім французької письменниці, справжнє ім'я якої є Фредерік Одуан-Рузо. Вона вважається найкращим письменником у Франції у жанрі детективів, багато з яких стали світовими бестселерами. Завдяки видавництву "КСД" український читач зміг познайомитися із її творчістю у книзі "Мерщій тікай і довго не вертайся".

Мене детективи насамперед приваблюють тим, що герої, які розплутують справи чи загадки, мислять нестандартно, швидко, аналізують факти та знаходять вихід із найскладніших
I gialli non sono il mio genere preferito, i francesi non sono i miei autori preferiti.
L'autrice è brava per carità ma sopratutto all'inizio l'ho trovato un po' lento, poi, a volte non riuscivo a distinguere i personaggi gli uni dagli altri, so che che questo dovrebbe essere il quarto romanzo dell'autrice quindi non avendo letto gli altri mi sfuggono un po' di cose.

Il libro prende un'ottima piega dalla metà in poi. Si vede che dietro c'è uno studio lento e meticoloso ma parecchio autoriferito
I do like Vargas. This is the second of hers I've read and it is nice to have a series of crime novels I know I will enjoy "in my pocket", so to speak, for when one really needs a crime novel. Detective Adamsberg is back, this time investigating a possible deliberate outbreak of the Black Death. His wonderful offsider Danglard is also there, with his own brand of intellect to complement and offset Adamsberg's. One complaint would be that Adamsberg's true love, Camille, is a bit flat - especially ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Another enjoyable installment by Vargas of the eccentric Inspector Adamsberg. Having read this series out of order, it is interesting to note how she had developed him over time. As with all of the Adamsberg books, Vargas not only introduces us to the cast of characters that comprise the serious crimes squad but also supplies an intriguing motley crew of "castaways" banding together daily to listen to a modern day town crier who becomes the vehicle for announcing another potential occurrence of ...more
Jul 10, 2010 Aberlowitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful French mystery novel merges the modern and medieval in truly unique and surprising ways.
Steph Gravell
Feb 10, 2015 Steph Gravell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this one off of Dad's crime filled bookcase as it looked more intriguing than many of the others. I am glad I did, I loved the majority of the characters and the historical aspects concerning the plague. When I was totally hooked it lost a little something... The beginning of the revalation seems a little far fetched to me (just call Adamsberg wonder cop) and Camille the love interest/part continuous distraction towards the end is unnecessary.

That said, when I fancy a random crime thril
Oct 22, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the setting and unique premise.
Après mon précédent Vargas, j'ai mis un moment avant d'enfin attaquer celui-ci (presque un an et demi apparemment). Pour être honnête, la seule raison pour laquelle j'ai autant traîné, c'est parce que je voyais que c'était un de la série Adamsberg, et que j'avais plutôt moyennement aimé les précédents. Mais au final, je pense que ça m'a permis de prendre du recul par rapport au personnage et de mieux apprécier à sa juste valeur ce livre qui, vous l'aurez remarqué, j'ai noté à 4 étoiles (donc une ...more
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Fred Vargas 2 6 Mar 09, 2016 08:40AM  
  • Solea
  • Monsieur Malaussene (Malaussène, #4)
  • Ad occhi chiusi
  • The Carter of 'La Providence' (Maigret, #2)
  • The Snack Thief (Inspector Montalbano, #3)
  • Difesa a zona
  • Una brutta faccenda
Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of the French historian, archaeologist and writer Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau (often mistakenly spelled "Audouin-Rouzeau"). She is the daughter of Philippe Audoin(-Rouzeau), a surrealist writer who was close to André Breton, and the sister of the historian Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, a noted specialist of the First World War who inspired her the character of Lucien Devernoi ...more
More about Fred Vargas...

Other Books in the Series

Commissaire Adamsberg (10 books)
  • L'Homme aux cercles bleus (Commissaire Adamsberg, #1)
  • Seeking Whom He May Devour (Commissaire Adamsberg, #2)
  • Les quatre fleuves (Commissaire Adamsberg, #3)
  • Coule la Seine (Commissaire Adamsberg, #5)
  • Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg, #6)
  • Dans les bois éternels (Commissaire Adamsberg, #7)
  • Un lieu incertain (Commissaire Adamsberg, #8)
  • The Ghost Riders of Ordebec (Commissaire Adamsberg, #9)
  • Temps glaciaires (Commissaire Adamsberg #10)

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“Josh didn't trust inanimates; not one bit; but he didn’t trust men either, nor did he trust the sea. The first could drive you crazy; the second could steal your soul; and the last could take your life.” 1 likes
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