There are many things to like about this book:
- A pervasive sense of place, local atmosphere and the pace of life in a small French market town.
- Convincing and complex personalities; Bruno is no one-dimensional cop; he has been wounded but is not cynical, has retained his humanity.
- A story line that holds together from beginning to end, makes sense, never farfetched.
- Frequent pauses in the pursuit of a solution, while Bruno takes time for love, friends and above all, food -- this is, after all, France (we are even treated to menus and recipes!).
- A highly informative insight into the political history of France and Algeria from WW2 to the present day, a topic not likely to be at all familiar to most readers.
So, if you're eager for an intense, action-packed crime drama, this one is not for you. But neither is it a tea-cozy mystery; the crime at issue is brutal enough and the cultural/racial tensions in the community are significant. Walker has achieved a remarkable balance, presenting a highly readable mystery populated by engaging characters.