Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: The Resistance Man by Martin Walker

I've been able to stay current with this one of my favorite series. Since France is one of the European countries where I've not traveled extensively and Walker's descriptions of the land, the landscape and the people impart an atmosphere of the area, I really enjoy the rural French setting.

Bruno Courrèges, the engaging Chief of Police of the small town of St. Denis, is still struggling with several romantic interests, but the author handles the conflicts without having Bruno come across as a Lothario, ladies' man, or in any way unpleasant.  He's just a friendly gentleman whose female acquaintances aren't always everything he'd like them to be.

Romance aside, this series offers not only mysteries, in this case murder and an ancient unsolved train robbery, but also gives the reader a charming history lesson.  The Resistance Man elucidates the often confusing story of various political and military factions that inhabited France during World War II, by reflecting the adventures of several elderly inhabitants of the town who served during that period. The story is further embellished with descriptions of delicious foods and the wines that accompany them.

The dust jacket tells us:
 A veteran of the Resistance dies, and among his possessions are documents that connect him to a notorious train robbery. A former British spymaster's estate is burglarized, the latest in a spree of expert thefts. An academic's home is broken into just as she is finishing a revelatory book on Frances nuclear weapons program. An antiques dealer is found brutally murdered, and his former lover, the number one suspect, is on the run. It's just another summer in St. Denis for Bruno, who must balance the constant barrage of demands on his time and expertise-including the complex affections of two powerful women, town politics (the mayor is having romantic problems of his own), his irrepressible puppy, Balzac, and nights entertaining friends and visitors with ever-sumptuous repasts-with a new focus on the mounting crime wave, whose seemingly unrelated events Bruno begins to suspect are linked.
This is an altogether charming series with plenty of meat on its bones.  At the end of episode 6, I'm now hoping that Bruno might soon find a more permanent relationship so we can watch as he turns his small farm into a burgeoning family homestead.


Title: The Resistance Man
Author: Martin Walker
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc (2014)
Genre: mystery, police procedural
Subject: murder, train robbery, history and politics
Setting: fictional village of St. Denis France
Series: Bruno Courrèges 
Source: public library

1 comment:

  1. A new one for me. Will be looking out for this author.

    ReplyDelete

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