Sunday, May 26, 2013

Satanism and Murder in Rural France: The Devil's Cave by Martin Walker

When a beautiful woman is found floating down the river in St. Denis, Inspector Bruno and the town are shocked. The naked woman had apparently been participating in a black mass. Although it is not apparent at first whether the woman was murdered, or a suicide, Bruno investigates the case.

The Devil's Cave, a tourist attraction outside town, is the next location for a satanist ritual. While this second manifestation brings increased tourism to the town, not everyone is happy. The mayor is worried that St. Denis will become known as a haven for satanic practices.

Bruno continues his investigation with some help from his ex-love, Isabelle, now in Paris working for the Brigadier. When the dead woman is identified, she turns out to have local roots. The investigation becomes more intense involving the Defense Ministry, an impressive new hotel, and a local aristocratic family.

This second book in the Chief Bruno series is a good read. Bruno and the collection of characters that inhabit the area are the best part of the book. The life of the village, particularly Bruno's romantic attachments, keep the story moving. The real show stealer is Bruno's new puppy. I look forward to watching him grow up in the next books in the series.

The countryside around St. Denis is beautifully described, as are the food and wine. I felt as if I was having a vacation in a delightful French village. I recommend this book if you like mysteries in which the characters and the setting are as important as the mystery.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.