Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker
The middle-aged single detective 'with a past' characterisation is somewhat clichÃƒÂ©d, but it is a sweet and gentle book.
Bruno, the gentle and wise, attractive and clever, thoughtful and kind detective found in this first Martin Walker crime thriller is just a little too good to be true. Protecting his tiny town in the heart of rural France from EU hygiene inspectors and their own foolish behaviour, his life is also a little on the Utopian side. That is until one of his flock is brutally murdered. The perfection of the hero can be a little cloying at times and yes the middle-aged, single detective 'with a past' characterisation is somewhat clichéd, but it is a sweet and gentle book. Well, as far as books about murder go. Bruno's detection technique is very much softly softly and we're led to our culprit in a meandering fashion with a few games of tennis, attractive women, some nice wine and plenty of good food along the way. At times the author's descriptions lack subtlety: where readers may want to be shown who a character is through his actions and behaviour, here they are too often just told. But this is a charming little mystery, not unlike a Sunday night crime drama, intriguing and relaxing, a pleasant way to while away an evening. [Sarah Hunter]
Release Date: 3rd April, Published by Quercus, Cover Price £12.99 hardback.