Industrial sabotage spills over into murder in the Dordogne village of St Denis. Chief of police Bruno must balance tradition and progress while bringing a killer to justice.
Just before dawn one summer morning Bruno is summoned by the wail of the siren in the little town of St Denis in the Périgord. A fire is raging in a local barn and spreading to the surrounding fields. When Bruno arrives at the scene, the smell of petrol leaves no doubt: it was arson. The barn belongs to an agricultural research company experimenting with genetically modified crops - an unpopular move in deeply traditional St Denis.
Meanwhile, a Californian producer wants to set up a wine-making business in the valley. Despite the money and jobs this would bring, many fear it would destroy their town. When a violent death follows the crop burning, it looks as though someone is prepared to do anything to stop the scheme. Bruno will have to draw on all his local knowledge to reach the truth.
Age-old French traditions collide with global commerce in Walker's lyrical sequel to Bruno, Chief of Police. When vandals attack a secretive research station hidden in the hills near Saint-Denis, Bruno Courr ges, the rural village's only municipal policeman, looks into the matter. Meanwhile, winemaker Fran ois Cresseil and the young man he has just adopted, Max Vannes, both die of mysterious causes. Max's seductive Canadian girlfriend; the scion of a rich American winery looking to buy up tracts of fertile land; protesting " colos"; representatives from a variety of government agencies; and a host of colorful locals all complicate what turns into a murder investigation, which calls on Bruno's tact as well as his shrewdness. Walker evokes his French community's celebrations of wine, food, love, and friendship with obvious affection but without sentimentality. His villagers are no more immune from modern times than the rest of us they just drink better wine.