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Death in the Dordogne (Bruno, Chief of Police, #1)
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Archives > April 2019-Final Thoughts-**Spoilers Allowed**-Death in the Dordogne

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message 1: by Phrynne, Mystery lover! (new)

Phrynne | 3315 comments Mod
Final thoughts (and reviews if you like) on Death in the Dordogne (Bruno, Chief of Police, #1) by Martin Walker Death in the Dordogne by Martin Walker


message 2: by Carolyn (last edited Apr 20, 2019 01:09AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carolyn | 1268 comments I enjoyed this one. I especially liked the descriptions of the charming little French village where the local residents more or less get on with each other, allowing for some political differences. Bruno is a lovely police chief - moral and just while not always following the rules, especially where the EU food inspectors are concerned. Lots of eating and especially drinking (at a drop of a hat it would seem), lovely landscapes and interesting residents.

I thought the murder mystery was well done with the old guard of the Resistance meting out justice to one who worked for the Nazis in seeking out members of the Resistance and carrying out murder under the Milice. I thought Bruno did well in deciding to leave well enough alone and not arrest the perpetrators.


message 3: by Brenda, Suspense lover! (new)

Brenda | 8945 comments Mod
Good you enjoyed it so much Carolyn :)


Kylie H | 733 comments I really enjoyed this book too and agree with Carolyn. Although it did not sit well with me that the responsible parties got away with this murder, no good was going to come from the alternative.
I thought that this book dealt well with the racial difficulties and tensions that soon came to a head.
I really do not need yet another 'series' on my list but this is going on to it!


message 5: by Kerri_M (last edited Apr 20, 2019 07:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kerri_M | 646 comments Just finished Death in the Dordogne (Bruno, Chief of Police, #1) by Martin Walker .

I have had the e-book on my device for about 18 months, so glad to finally read it, although like everyone else I really don't need to be starting a new series!

I enjoyed this book because of the characters and the setting, but I wasn't expecting (and was a little bit depressed by) the racist reactions of characters and right wing political group storyline. A bit too close to real life in these current times perhaps.

And while I can see the reasoning for not prosecuting the guilty party, it did seem to me that while the victim might be said to have lived a life trying to make up for actions in his youth, the guilty ones appear to have lived lives of small mindedness and vendettas...

Leaving me at the end floundering in ambivalence.

(About the world, not about the book). So for making me think and feel - ★★★★


message 6: by Brenda, Suspense lover! (new)

Brenda | 8945 comments Mod
Sounds good Kerri - not looking promising about mine coming from the library!!


Kylie H | 733 comments Kerri, I could not agree more, it sounds like we felt the same about the book. It was so beautifully told and in an idyllic setting, but such ugly happenings both past and present. They balanced each other out very well.


message 8: by Rowena (new)

Rowena Holloway | 54 comments Finished yesterday. Read it in two sittings (or maybe a few more, but two days all up). In the beginning I wasn't very engaged. Towards the end I didn't want to stop. I was willing to suspend disbelief that three career policemen/women wouldn't pursue the perpetrators.

To me, this is one of those books that doesn't know where to seat itself. Is it a cosy? The details about St Denis life and Bruno's role in it would suggest so, as does the glossing over of what is a very vicious crime. Is it a crime story? Well, yes, eventually. And, among all that cooking, it deals with some dark themes. In the hands of Henning Mankell (who has a similar storyline in one of his Wallander novels) this would have been Nordic Nior at it's best--a gritty exploration of the crime and the issues around it.

And I think that is where I struggled with this book--continually readjusting my expectations. It's the same issue I have with Louise Penny--with all that provincial life no one expects a brutal killing. Well, I never do!

That said, the mystery of why Al-Bakr was killed hooked me. I have to admit I skimmed a lot of that lovely life-in-a-small-town detail to get to the crime story. And I skimmed some of the historical background too. Maybe at another time I'll read it fully. But the elements of the mystery and how it was solved were great.

PS I had some difficulty settling into what time this was set. Did I miss something? I know tech has come a long way since 2009 and that Bruno didn't have access to much up-to-date equipment, but it still felt almost as if it could easily be set in an earlier time with little change. No biggie, just curious if others felt the same.


Kylie H | 733 comments I agree Rowena, it was hard to place the 'time' of the book, in some respects it felt like it may have been 50's or 60's with a strong post-war sentiment. At others it felt more contemporary.


message 10: by Rowena (new)

Rowena Holloway | 54 comments Kylie H wrote: "I agree Rowena, it was hard to place the 'time' of the book, in some respects it felt like it may have been 50's or 60's with a strong post-war sentiment. At others it felt more contemporary."

My feelings exactly, Kylie. :)


Kerri_M | 646 comments As much as I don’t need another series in my life, I am keen to read some more in this series to see if this odd but interesting mix of dark themes and cosy setting is maintained.


message 12: by Carolyn (last edited Apr 23, 2019 05:02AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carolyn | 1268 comments Rowena, I was also trying to work out when the book was set. I'm guessing the politics might help date it if we looked into that. The dead man's age might also help if we are told it and can guess back to how old he was in WW2.

Also the presence of officials checking the market food might help in dating the period. France joined the EEC in 1957 when it was started and this became the EU in 1993. I think the book said they were from the EU but can't check as my copy has gone back to the library. It does feel much earlier than the 90s, although I think the drugs they found (ecstasy?) suggest it's later.


message 13: by Brenda, Suspense lover! (new)

Brenda | 8945 comments Mod
I just checked a few reviews as some people put "set in 19** " but no one has done that. Mostly mentioned is WW2...


Kylie H | 733 comments It may be the very late 1990's or early 2000's as Bruno did military service in the Bosnian war which was referenced as some years earlier in the book. The lack of mobile phones and other technology would support this too.


message 15: by Kerri_M (last edited Apr 23, 2019 04:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kerri_M | 646 comments I think it is probably early 2000's - The Bosnian conflict was 1992-1995 - Bruno had been in St Denis for a number of years. The book was first published in 2008 - I am guessing set around 2003-2005.


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