Susan Hated Literature

She'd much prefer to read a good book

Tag: An Inspector Adamsberg novel

An uncertain place by

Translated by Sian Reynolds. An Inspector Adamsberg novel #6 Adamsberg is in England at a European policing convention, discussing immigration…

This Night’s Foul Work

Author: Fred Vargas
Trans: Sian Reynolds

As you may already know I’m a big fan of Fred Vargas’ work and while this one is a library copy I’ll be buying this when it comes out in the proper size. I can’t stand these trade publications versions. They make no sense to me. All the negatives of a hardback with none of the positives. But enough about that; on to the plot.

The most straight-forward way of describing this book is to say that it is a murder-mystery. But with characters like Adamsberg there is no such thing as a straight-forward case. So when he spots something a little “off” about the two bodies that have shown up he decides that this case his rather than giving them over to the Drugs Squad.

Wash this blood clean from my hand by

trans. Sian Reynolds
I’m a huge fan of Fred Vargas’ work. And this book is no exception. The star, once more, is Commissaire Adamsberg. The plot revolves around a series of murders, the first in 1943, the latest takes place in the present of the book. Adamsberg has a special interest in this case, and the judge he believes to have committed these crimes. In each case the murder victim is killed by three stab wounds. And in each case an assailant has been found, always suffering from amnesia but also having a murder weapon in his possession. In each case the police decide that this individual is responsible and, there you go, case closed. Adamsberg is not so sure.

Seeking Whom He May Devour by

Fred Vargas Trans from the French: David Bellos
Yes again a cover influenced purchase, so I am glad to report that a good cover can lead to a good read too. I really enjoyed this book. The language, characters and descriptions are fantastic, so I suppose a lot of praise must also go to the translater as well.

The book opens with the character of Lawrence Donald Johnstone, a Canadian in France to film wolves. He’s been away from his true love, grizzly bears, for far too long, and is rooting in in Mercantour. Not only for the skinny European wolves, although he has come to love them, but also because there’s a woman, Camille, in his life.

But when dead sheep, always ewes are found the locals begin to look at the “foreign Italian wolves” with suspicion and hate. They organise local hunts. Coming to believe that it is all the work of one, huge, extraordinary animal.

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