'A satisfyingly intriguing, wish-you-were-here read' Guardian
A body is found showing marks of Satanism. Bruno, chief of police must track down a murderer while quelling his town's superstitious fears in this charming mystery, part of an internationally bestselling series
It is springtime France's Périgord, a time of beauty and calm. But not for Bruno, chief of police of the small town of St Denis. A woman's body has been found on a boat, bearing signs of a black magic ritual.
Bruno has too much on his plate as it is - mediating a domestic abuse case that needs careful handling and a dodgy local development proposal that seems just too good to be true.
But a murder case must take precedent and the roots of this one lie buried deep in the past - linked to a chateau above a bend in the river, to the reclusive old woman who lives there, and to the secret hidden in the Devil's Cave.
'A first-rate mystery' Entertainment Weekly
At the start of Walker's charming fifth novel featuring Bruno Courr ges, police chief in the French village of St. Denis (after 2012's The Crowded Grave), reports that a dead naked woman is drifting downstream in a boat on the local river disturb the policeman's choir practice. Once the vessel is secured, Bruno goes aboard. Along with the corpse, whose belly is marked with a pentagram, he finds a black cockerel, the bird's severed head, and black candles. Identifying the woman and the cause of her death proves less than straightforward, and the mystery deepens when another person turns up dead. Rumors that the woman, who's deemed a suicide, was involved in conducting a black mass don't please the town mayor, who's not eager for the negative publicity they engender. Bruno, an affable gourmet and dogged investigator, is a winning lead, and Walker perfectly balances developments in his private life with the homicide inquiry.