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Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg, #6)
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Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg #6)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,689 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Between 1943 and 2003 nine people have been stabbed to death with a most unusual weapon: a trident. In each case, arrests were made, suspects confessed their crimes and were sentenced to life in prison. One slightly worrying detail: each presumed murderer lost consciousness during the night of the crime and has no recollection of it.





Commissaire Adamsberg is convinced all t
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Paperback, 388 pages
Published January 3rd 2008 by Vintage (first published 2004)
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Writerlibrarian
This is Vargas "Québec" novel where she supposedly makes characters speaks in authentic "joual". Which might be funny for people who don't have any idea of what language people in Québec speak. One thing for sure it's not the language Vargas is using in her novel. That's the very very annoying part. All the French Canadian characters are caricatures or grotesque people. This is the weakest of the Adamsberg's novels I've read so far. The obsessed serial killer chase that began in Adamsberg's chil ...more
robxyz
Termino questo quarto episodio della serie Adamsberg con la sensazione confortante che Fred Vargas abbia fin qui ogni volta migliorato ed affinato la saga rispetto ai precedenti capitoli; ne parlavo poi con mia moglie, di quanto mi piacciano infinitamente di pi� le atmosfere francesi create sapientemente dall'autrice rispetto alle descizioni minuziose di gente come Deaver, Cornwell, Crichton; ecco, degli autori gialli da bestseller americani non apprezzo il dettaglio da autopsia, l'intrico delle ...more
Edward
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
To be honest, the plot for this book is so convoluted and far-fetched, that the murderer might as well be an alien, and Commissaire Adamsberg's evidence could only be used by a prosecutor in the form of contemporary dance. Serial killers in real life tend to be quite pathetic, lonely people with a grudge against a society which has rightfully snubbed them. In books and film, they're often handsome sinister geniuses, far cleverer than the everyday drones who's lives they snuff out. Vargas takes t ...more
J
Fred Vargas, pseudonimo di Frédérique Audouin-Rouzeau, entra nel panorama letterario italiano in punta di piedi attraverso la collana “I Coralli” di Einaudi con “Io sono il tenebroso” nel 2000 (uscito in Francia nel ‘97). Da quel momento il destino della scrittrice francese in seno alla casa editrice di Torino è piuttosto movimentato. Il discreto successo del romanzo spinge Einaudi a pubblicare anche “Chi è morto alzi la mano” nel 2002 (‘95), “Parti in fretta e non tornare” nel 2004 (2001) e a r ...more
William
This is, I think, the fourth in the Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg series, and the best I have read so far, just ahead of the first one.

Vargas' plots are marvelously inventive, but sometimes get a bit too far-fetched. This book has the usual offbeat story line, but it is credible throughout, and combines a meticulous police procedural with an engagingly bizarre theme.

Vargas' characters this time are unusually well-drawn, especially Violette Retancourt, and depth and texture are added to Adamsberg's on
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Craig
I had a hard time getting into this - at first I thought something was getting lost in translation from the original French. But gradually I realized it wasn't the translation, but the storytelling structure - lots of seemingly indulgent sidebars, not a lot of action. Not your typical "American" crime fiction. Just over halfway through the book, I realized that I was enjoying the characters and their interactions so much that I wasn't overly concerned with the central mystery (which actually is ...more
Jon Frum
I have two Adamsberg books to go, and so far this is one of the two best. Vargas is certainly a good writer, and the overall shape of her stories is usually well done. This story takes her detective to Quebec and back, and continues the love story line found in earlier books. Personally, I favor the old 'no love interest' rule in detective mystery writing. I do understand that there is an audience for romance/relationship plot lines in detective/crime fiction, so for me, this series suffers, but ...more
Riccardo Avesani
Una vera e propria chicca questo romanzo per l'anti Patricia Cornwell per eccellenza. "Sotto i venti di Nettuno" è e probabilmente rimane, insieme a "Nei boschi eterni" e "Chi è morto alzi la mano", quanto di meglio la scrittrice francese è riuscita a produrre. Un meglio che si esplica non tanto nella costruzione della vicenda - Fred Vargas si colloca all'interno del giallo classico fatto di delitto, inestigazione e soluzione - quanto di tutto ciò che sta attorno alla vicenda. In primis, il sape ...more
???!!!
I have to say its not a book easy to get into. Although Vargas is a great poetic writer the intensity of this book did not start until half way through the book. I was about to give up if not because I enjoyed the vivid characters. Vargas writing is like a fine wine, many textures, layers and subtleties. Her stories often have an air of mysticism, fairy tales and ghost stories. Sometimes it's hard to realize that the setting is current instead of times long forgotten.
Tony
WASH THIS BLOOD CLEAN FROM MY HAND. (2004; Eng. Trans. 2007). Fred Vargas. ****.
This was my first exposure to Commissaire Adamsberg, the author’s serial hero. The Commissaire is based in Paris with the French Gendarmes. In this mystery/thriller, he continues to try and free his brother of suspicion of murder for which he was tried and convicted years ago. He does his homework and learns that a series of murders have taken place over the past fifty years, where the victims were killed by being st
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Kristena West

Well I am in love with this series, there is that very intelligent development of plot and the mysterious way in which Adamsberg moves through his psyche towards solving the mystery has me hooked.

After reading (below) that the authors father was a surrealist author and knew Andre Breton! she has the mastery of using different aspects of consciousness in her characters that for me, is extremely satisfying; especially the precognitive aspects.
5 stars

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Fred Vargas is the p
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Andromeda M31
Whoever chooses the English titles for this series deserves to be shot.

Ignoring the over-the-top book title, this has been my favorite Adamsberg mystery. The serial killer thread is overwrought with symbolism and family issue, but this book works because it throws Adamsberg out of his comfort zone. Gone is the self assured detective muttering around his subordinates. We get glimpses into Adamsberg's past and why he is who is. Although Vargus' main characters are two men, the supporting caste is
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Deana Morris
Reads like the difficult third novel.

The first half of this book is heavy work and then suddenly we're off and racing and the chase is on.

Why we had to go to Canada is beyond me. What Vargas seems to have done, if the Goodreads reviews are anything to go by, is irk readers in French-speaking Canada who find her characterisations patronising. Oh dear, and really not worth the effort because we were frequently caught up in lengthy 'why this is like this' explanations which slowed down the plotti
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Sam
One of the best books I've ever read!
I loved some of the other books about Adamsberg, but this one somehow stands out, on much deeper, personal level. Maybe because in the other cases he's a bit more detached /apart from the story with Louis Veyrenc de Bilhc, where Adamsber's childhood paid a big role/ - here we get to know more about him, about his brother and the connection between them; the strong way it affected even Violet, explaining in a way Adamsberg's peculiar detachment from other peo
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Nilo Di Stefano
Molto molto "giallo" rispetto a tutti gli altri. Più pathos, più ambiguità, una esagerata voglia di "puzzle del thriller". Ci sarà voluto molto tempo a Fred Vargas una volta sparpagliati i pezzi del puzzle, per rimetterli insieme e fare in modo di farli combaciare alla perfezione. In alcuni momenti forse esagera, ma poi effettivamente tutto prende la solita piega dei libri dell'autrice. Non è facile scollarsi dalle pagine, se solo lasci per dormire o per andare a lavoro, durante la notte o il re ...more
Teresa Mills-clark
Usually I rate Vargas's books much higher that 3 stars but I found the characterization of the Canadian RCMP officers to be patronizing and wholly inaccurate. It was beyond cringing about it was actually insulting. To imagine professionals to act as buffoons was beyond plausible. I wondered if it was a matter of the translator missing nuances?? In any event, I nearly put the book down, unfinished. But am glad I persisted because when the author was back on French soil and her style of writing wa ...more
Sarah
Easily the worst book I have read in a decade, at least in terms of quality.
Ritja
Wer Fred Vargas kennt, weiß dass ihr Adamsberg nicht immer vor Charme und Sympathie strotzt und trotzdem lese und höre ich ihre Krimis gern, da sie immer wieder fesselnd sind.
Es geht bei Adamsberg nicht um große Actionszenen oder viel Blut und Gewalt, sondern eher um die Hintergründe. Warum eine Person zum Massenmörder wird. In diesem Fall ist es kompliziert, sehr kompliziert, denn die Morde sind eigentlich alle aufgeklärt und für jeden Mord gibt es einen Täter. Oder doch nicht? Als wieder ein
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Kathleen Dixon
This is the second Commissaire Adamsberg I've read (well, I read the first one and listened to this) and I enjoyed it even more than the first. Adamsberg is a Parisian police officer with an intuitive style and who does his best thinking (allowing thoughts to happen) when walking. His habit of walking gets him into trouble in this 6th in his series.

When Adamsberg was a young man his brother was accused of murder. He got off the charge but shame forced him to leave the country and they haven't se
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Neva
Из архивите - рецензия за в. "Гласове". (Този път беше цяла страница за качествени кримки.)

Шерлок, Филип, Пепе и други прозорливи мъже

Брехт презирал криминалетата – виждали му се по-близки до кръстословиците, отколкото до белетристиката. А Бодлер лично превел на френски мрачните прозрения на Огюст Дюпен, литературното алтер его на Едгар Алан По. Някои твърдят, че жанрът възникнал в Китай през XVIII ("Три престъпни деяния, разкрити от съдията Ти") и стигнал до Европа през XIX век. Според други ев
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Nancy Oakes
(from 2011)

Adamsberg goes international, as he and a few of his colleagues are scheduled to go to Quebec to study the newest techniques in DNA science from the RCMP. He has a lot on his plate: the heat is broken at headquarters, Danglard is petrified of flying, certain that a flock of starlings will fly into the wing and bring the plane crashing down, and a young women has been savagely murdered in a way that Adamsberg knows well. It seems that as a teenager, his brother Raphael had fallen under
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Carolin
This was my first encounter with commissaire Adamsberg and definitely one of the best books I've read in the last few months: The Parisian policeman faces a case, that is intertwined with Adamsberg's whole life, about a dead judge who seems to be the devil himself, Adamsberg's brother, who lives with guilt everyday and many murders that seem to be sprinkled randomly over whole France. When the commissaire reads about another murder that has all the same characteristics as the others before the j ...more
Karen
Commissaire Adamsberg is a man with a profound belief in his own hunches. Whilst a lot of his squad are preparing for a DNA technology study trip to Quebec, Adamsberg is really distracted. Firstly, he's distracted because his right hand man, Danglard is quite convinced that they are all going to die in a fiery plane crash and Adamsberg is wearing the brunt of keeping him calm and getting him on the plane. But there's something else that's not right and finally it dawns on Adamsberg that a newspa ...more
aBeiLLe
J'ai choisi de lire ce roman après le tordant billet de Karine:). J'avais ri à en pleurer en lisant son commentaire. Je trouve toujours très spécial la façon qu'on les "français" de traduire, ou d'interpréter nos bonnes vieilles expressions québécoise. Et là avec ce roman je suis ravie! Des expressions tout droit sorti du Classique Le Temps d'une paix! Je ne crois pas que l'auteur ait une connaissance approfondie du Québec d'aujourd'hui. Le choix des expressions et aussi des noms de ses personna ...more
Mei
This, the next book featuring Adamsberg (after Seeking Whom He May Devour), had the almost opposite effect on me that Seeking Whom He May Devour did. I found the third one, as mentioned previously, to be very slow-going, with the narrative wandering (sometimes aimlessly) through the book, until, as I said, the conclusion hit me squarely in the face right at the very end. It was like being doused with cold water. This book, however, had a really fast-paced narrative, as the sequence of events unf ...more
Arwen56
Bello, bello, bello ... da non poter staccare gli occhi dalle pagine ... non tanto, torno a ribadire, perchè importi sapere chi è l'assassino (che qui, peraltro, sappiamo da subito chi è), ma perchè interessa sapere cosa sentono i personaggi, cosa pensano, come vivono la storia. Perchè qui, bene o male, tutti condividono. E' questo il fascino della Vargas. Se tu racconti, come inciso ad un'altra storia principale, che se ficchi in bocca una sigaretta ad un rospo, questo aspira, aspira e poi, pla ...more
rabbitprincess
Dec 18, 2010 rabbitprincess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: police procedural fans who like quirky protagonists
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: The Times Online
* * * 1/2

Even though I didn't finish this book, I am still inclined to round my 3.5 star rating up instead of down. My not finishing is more because I was reading the original French, and it takes me forever to read French fiction, since that's my second language. It didn't have as much to do with the story itself -- just me reaching my saturation point.

As stated, I was reading this more for the second-language exposure and thought the mystery aspect would hold my attention more readily. And it
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Cathy Cole
I've enjoyed the other three books I've read in this series, but I always felt that Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg was maintaining a distance between us. With Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand, this distance vanished, and I am well and truly hooked. Vargas excels in mixing various styles, and she continues to do so here. There's a light comic touch throughout the book combined with much darker themes. What's new to the mix is the fact that her main character has to look deep inside himself during this ...more
LJ
First Sentence: Leaning his shoulder against the dark basement wall, Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg stood contemplating the enormous central heating boiler which had suddenly stopped working, two days before.

Comm. Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg and seven of his officers are getting ready for forensics training in Quebec, Canada. A few days before they are to leave, Adamsberg sees a news story about a murder where the victim received three stab wounds to the stomach and the accused has no memory of committing
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68906
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 (9 books)
  • L'homme aux cercles bleus (Commissaire Adamsberg, #1)
  • Seeking Whom He May Devour (Commissaire Adamsberg, #2)
  • Les quatre fleuves (Commissaire Adamsberg, #3)
  • Have Mercy on Us All (Commissaire Adamsberg, #4)
  • Coule la Seine (Commissaire Adamsberg, #5)
  • Dans les bois éternels (Commissaire Adamsberg, #7)
  • Un lieu incertain (Commissaire Adamsberg, #8)
  • The Ghost Riders of Ordebec (Commissaire Adamsberg, #9)
L'homme aux cercles bleus (Commissaire Adamsberg, #1) Have Mercy on Us All (Commissaire Adamsberg, #4) The Three Evangelists (Three Evangelists, #1) Seeking Whom He May Devour (Commissaire Adamsberg, #2) Dans les bois éternels (Commissaire Adamsberg, #7)

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