International Dagger Award shortlisted author Cay Rademacher delivers a captivating follow-up to his atmospheric Murderous Mistral with Deadly Camargue.
August: the air over Provence shimmers in suffocating heat. Capitaine Roger Blanc and his colleague Marius Tonon are called to the Camargue. A black fighting bull has escaped from the pasture and has gored a cyclist. A bizarre accident, or so it initially seems. Until Blanc discovers evidence that someone left the gate open intentionally…
The deceased is Albert Cohen, political magazine reporter, fashion intellectual from Paris, TV personality. He was in the Camargue to write a major article on Vincent van Gogh. Yet what has that got to do with the attack? Blanc comes across Cohen’s incomplete report during his investigation, which is not quite as harmless as it initially appeared. And also a spectacular, never solved burglary on the Côte d'Azur, and an old, deadly story that absolutely everyone wants to forget. By the end, Blanc feels a little more at home in his new surroundings in Provence. But he pays a high price for it.
Rademacher's enjoyable second Provence mystery (after 2017's Murderous Mistral) finds Capt. Roger Blanc on a road where a bicyclist died horribly, gored by a fighting bull that escaped its corral, in the Camargue region of southern France during a summer heat wave. The dogged investigating of Blanc, a Parisian cop banished to the sleepy provinces for angering senior bureaucrats, reveals that the bull was let out on purpose; the bull's victim, prominent journalist Albert Cohen, was the target. The detective soon connects the crime with the theft of a van Gogh painting from a provincial museum and the 1980s killing of a local landowner by militant leftists. These discoveries don't endear Blanc to his local boss. At times, Blanc can be his own worst enemy, since he's having an affair with the wife of his biggest foe in Paris. Rademacher's vivid descriptions of the landscape, the pleasures of French food, and the history of van Gogh's time in the south add to the story's appeal. Armchair travelers will be rewarded.