Doug Beatty's Reviews > The Chalk Circle Man

The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
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's review
Aug 14, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: mystery
Read in August, 2009

This is a wonderful novel featuring Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, Commissaire of the Paris police. How best to describe him? He is methodical, philosophical and intuitive and takes his time with cases and very hesitant to reveal anything until he is sure. He is suffering from a lost love, a woman who parted ways from him years ago that he has not been able to get over. He works with Danglard, who is a single father with five children and often can't understand why Adamsberg does the things he does.

In this novel, there is an obsessive person on the streets of Paris drawing chalk circles around ordinary objects on the street. Maybe a bottle cap, or a small piece of garbage. Adamsberg is worried because he senses a cruelty in the prank and is sure that it will escalate. Soon, a dead pigeon is found in a circle and it is not long before a young woman is murdered and placed inside the ring of chalk. But is it the work of this chalk circle artist? Or is the killer trying to incriminate someone by placing a body in a previously drawn circle?

This novel was quite good with some very interesting and quirky characters. It also leads you along so you begin to suspect something and then the crime is turned on its head. I was definately suprised and pleased by the conclusion. It was a fabulous work and an author I will definately read again. Fred Vargas is one to watch. She won one of the UK Dagger awards for best international mystery with this one and it was well deserved.

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Reading Progress

08/17/2009 page 24
9.38% "Translated from the French. I am reading it in English."

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