The sixth installment in the delightful, internationally acclaimed series featuring Chief of Police Bruno.
It's spring in St. Denis. The village choir is preparing for its Easter concert, the wildflowers are blooming, and among the lazy whorls of the river a dead woman is found floating in a boat. This means another case for Bruno, the town’s cherished chief of police.
With the discovery of sinister markings and black candles near the body, it seems to Bruno that the occult might be involved. And as questions mount—most notably about a troubling real estate proposal in the region and the sudden reappearance of an elderly countess—Bruno and his colleagues are drawn ever closer to a climactic showdown in the Gouffre de Colombac: the place locals call the Devil’s Cave.
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.