For those who are looking for something different in crime fiction – quirky characters and black humour abound here.
Dog Will Have His Day
HOW DO YOU SOLVE A MURDER WITHOUT A BODY?
Keeping watch under the windows of the Paris flat belonging to a politician’s nephew, ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler catches sight of something odd on the pavement. A tiny piece of bone. Human bone, in fact.
When Kehlweiler takes his find to the nearest police station, he faces ridicule. Obsessed by the fragment, he follows the trail to the tiny Breton fishing village of Port-Nicolas – in search of a dog. But when he recruits ‘evangelists’ Marc and Mathias to help, they find themselves facing even bigger game.
This is my first read of a Fred Vargas book – she has several series published – The Inspector Adamsberg Series and The Three Evangelists Series – Dog Will Have His Day in the second book in the second series. I had no difficulty picking up this book without reading the first – The Three Evangelists, however maybe it is the unique style of writing or maybe the translation (which on the whole was very well done Sian Reynolds) or maybe because I hadn’t read the first book but I needed to time to process the first few chapters before I dived into the rest of the book.
And what a book! Full of quirky characters that most of society would have cast aside – so refreshing, unique and enjoyable. Louis (also known by some as Ludwig) is an ex special investigator (forced retirement) who has a myriad of informers – drunks, newspaper sellers, bar owners… homeless people… who supply him with vital information. He may be retired but he is not off the job. He is an eccentric character (I base this judgement on the fact that he carries a toad around in his pocket, Bufo the Toad) aside from that small eccentricity he is perfectly normalJ and smart, and kind and like a terrier who won’t let go of a bone (no pun intended). This character – and the rest of the cast are so refreshing to read. There is not a drop of angst between them, no self-pity and lot of great detective work. A great read.