Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FATAL PURSUIT by Martin Walker

Martin Walker's Fatal Pursuit is a mixture of history and mystery.

The history wins out.

St. Denis, France, Chief of Police Bruno Courrèges becomes involved in the search for a rare automobile, a Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Bugatti only made four 57SC Atlantics. One was destroyed in an accident, two are accounted for, and the fourth may be hidden somewhere near St. Denis.

Along the way, Bruno solves two murders involving the search for the car, negotiates a family feud, works to save a troublesome young juvenile in St. Denis, and arrests the son of the manager of the area's largest supermarket.

The supermarket manager's son threw rocks and injured a local banker's daughter. So Bruno and his patron, the mayor, find themselves caught in a local political imbroglio.

And of course, there is a love story. Bruno finds another beautiful young lover. (I'm beginning to think Bruno is promiscuous. He seems to hook up with young women who are bound to leave him.)

Walker sets the story in a rural part of France he clearly loves. We see the restaurants, the food stalls, the wonderfully cooked meals, the wine, the mushrooms, and the beautiful cars. We even see Bruno taking part as the navigator in a car in the local rally.

This book (like all the Bruno books) has a unique rustic setting. The usual characters are on hand. Even Bruno's former lover Isabelle shows up, and of course we again get to know Bruno's dog Balzac and his horse Hector.

The story is fiction, but much of the history is accurate. Walker changes a few details for the sake of the story. The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic did exist. (It has not been found.) Walker says the famous people involved with the Bugatti, people who gave their lives in the French Resistance, are historically accurate.

If you are a lover of the Bruno Chief of Police stories (as I am), you should find this one to be good reading.


Richard Robinson said...

I have read other Edwards' books but none in this series. Is this a good starting place? The story here is especially interesting.

Richard Robinson said...

Oh, this is a new book. No wonder I couldn't find a used copy. Heading to the library website...

Joe Barone said...

Richard, Sorry about that. I didn't intend for this one to get into forgotten Books Friday. I've had that happen occasionally before. Sometimes I post older books for Forgotten Books Friday. Sometimes I don't and am not on the list that Friday. I just read for entertainment, and I post whatever I post when I have finished a book.

I really appreciate Forgotten Books Friday because it has led me to some good older books.