The Crowded Grave

The Crowded Grave

An Investigation by Bruno, Chief of Police

Book - 2011
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Life in south-west rural France is not the sleepy idyll you might suppose. Local duck and goose farms are being attacked by animal rights protestors attempting to halt the production of foie gras. A senior policeman has been shot by terrorists believed to be the Basque Separatists of ETA. And if that weren't enough, a group of students have just unearthed a 'modern' skeleton during a dig at one of the ancient sites of this famous region and home to pre-historic man - a dig that has brought an influx of foreigners to the Dordogne. It is up to Chief of Police Bruno Courreges to get to the bottom of these seemingly unrelated events. Martin Walker spins a surprising and compelling mystery, laced with charm and a deep knowledge and love of France, past and present. It is a combination that will win him many fans.
Publisher: London : Quercus, 2011.
ISBN: 9781849163217
Characteristics: 360 p. : map ; 24 cm.


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Apr 06, 2012

Unputdownable. Particularly like the way the novel incorporates current European social issues, such as animal rights campaigners, as well as showing how past events - in this instance the murky role of Spanish counter-terrorist forces and Basque sympathizers in France during the early 80’s – inevitable re-surface, and must be dealt with, in the present. In addition to the twists of the murder mystery, this episode provides interesting/amusing insight into the psyche of French farmers – and their oft reported habit of showing their distain for urban bureaucratic craziness [mostly in the form of EU &/or Federal (ie. Paris based) directives] by participating in summer protests which always seem to include slow moving tractors causing traffic mayhem, manure and rotting vegetables. The author has toned down the saintliness of Bruno a little, which is probably a good thing, and glad to find that, at the end of the case, there are a few opportunities left open for another adventure for this much beloved character.

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