"Wry humor and offbeat plots blend with a subtly dangerous charm to make Fred Vargas the queen of French crime writers."—Martin Walker, author of the Bruno, Chief of Police Series
“A wildly imaginative series.”—The New York Times
From the #1 bestselling French author and four-time winner of the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger Award.
When Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, the chief of police in Paris's seventh arrondissement, is called to the scene of a ghastly and highly unusual murder, he thinks it can't have anything to do with the nine pairs of shoes and severed feet discovered outside of London's Highgate Cemetery just a few days earlier. With the help of the murdered man's gifted physician, Adamsberg delves into the victim's disturbed psyche and unexpectedly finds himself on a path that takes him deep into the haunted past of Eastern Europe, where a centuries-old horror has come to life and is claiming victims far and wide.
Bizarre crimes drive Vargas's excellent sixth Commissaire Adamsberg mystery (after 2008's The Night's Foul Work). While in London for a conference, Adamsberg and his commandant, Adrien Danglard, inadvertently share in a macabre discovery: 17 shoes found next to Highgate Cemetery with 17 severed feet inside. Back in Paris, Adamsberg confronts a horrifying, surreal murder: someone has literally torn to shreds Pierre Vaudel, a well-to-do retired journalist, in his living room. The main suspect, mile Feuillant, Pierre's gardener, certainly has a temper and a police record. But would a murderer name his silly dog Cupid? A cryptic message sent by Pierre to a woman in Germany and an eerily similar murder in Austria force the investigation to go international. Meanwhile, Adamsberg slowly realizes that a new suspect is emerging: himself. Vargas, who's won the CWA International Dagger three times, keeps her zany plot under tight control all the way to the surprising finish.
An Uncertain Place
A satisfying read. A good mystery with generous helpings of philosophy, ennui, sex and a tasty dollop of the Gothic vampire horror genre. If you're not already a Vargas fan, this will probably do it.
A bit slow
I'm a big Fred Vargas fan but this latest book almost put me to sleep reading it. But it gets 3 stars for its main character, the lovable, insightful Commissaire Adamsburg.