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The Devil's Cave (Bruno, Chief of Police) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 9, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is the fifth in the series starring Benoît “Bruno“ Courrèges, chief of police in a tiny village in the Dordogne region of France. The French countryside, with its glorious food and wine, provides stark contrast to the dark deeds of the crimes Bruno investigates. For example, when Bruno and his aide go fishing, hoping to discover the source of a victim’s body, they take along limes to flavor the trout they catch and fillet on the river bank. This mystery has a very dark basis: a naked woman is seen in a boat floating down the river. The woman has been murdered, with a symbol traced in black on her belly. Black candles and the severed head of a cockerel are found in the boat. Bruno investigates the possible black-magic connection, unearthing rituals that go back to a black mass enacted by a desperate mistress of Louis XIV. There are contemporary tie-ins as well to a real-estate scheme in the area. An enchanting new entry in this solid series. --Connie Fletcher

Review

“A sumptuous French mystery filled with wine, cheese, and a lush Dordogne countryside.”
            —The Christian Science Monitor

“An enchanting new entry in this solid series.”
            —Booklist

“Charming…Bruno, an affable gourmet and dogged investigator, is a winning lead, and Walker perfectly balances developments in his private life with the homicide inquiry.”
            —Publishers Weekly

The Devil’s Cave brings to life a pastoral setting where the gourmet menu is as spicy as the sex, and where readers can share in the timeless beauty of the French countryside, laced with a little murder.”
            —BookPage

“If you’re looking for an affordable way to have an adventure in the French countryside this summer, try Martin Walker’s latest novel, The Devil’s Cave…This leisurely whodunit strikes a captivating balance between suspense and delight.”
            —Washingtonian
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Product Details

  • Series: Bruno, Chief of Police
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385349521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385349529
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Former foreign correspondent in USSR, USA, Europe and Africa for the Guardian (UK), author of histories of the Cold War and 20th century USA, and of studies of Gorbachev, Clinton, the extreme right etc.
Now I write mystery stories set in the Perigord region of rural France, home of truffles, foie gras, great cheeses and wonderful wines.
In 2013, I was made a chevalier of foie gras, in the confrerie of pate de Perigueux, and also an honorary Ambassador of the Perigord, which means I get to accompany the traveling exhibition of the Lascaux cave as it goes on display at museums around the world. I also help promote the wines of Bergerac at international wine fairs, and was chairman of the jury for this year's Prix Ragueneau, the international culinary prize,
The hero of my mystery stories is Bruno, a French country policeman and former soldier who was wounded while serving it UN peacekeepers during the siege of Sarajevo. Bruno hunts, cooks, tries never to arrest anyone and, hates to carry his gun (but sometimes must. He loves his basset hound, his horse and a complicated array of firmly independent women.
The Perigord also contains more medieval castles per square kilometre than anywhere else on earth and is home to the prehistoric paintings of the Lascaux cave. Most of what we know of prehistory comes from this valley of the river Vezere, where humans have lived continuously for some 70,000 years or more. Devoted to the area and his adopted home of the small town of St Denis, Bruno instinctively understands why our ancestors chose this spot

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Well, maybe that's an overstatement, but in this latest installment of the Chief Bruno Courreges series, the admirable cop of the village of St. Denis attains an even brighter aura as protector of the region and all around great guy as he faces a new threat from satanists, charlatans and wanton women. As always, the storyline is creative and intriguing; but it's the characters populating the book and the locale that give the work real flavor and interest . The stars in all of this are Chief Bruno, local law enforcer, civic organizer, confidant to the powers-that-be, public counselor and psychologist, yenta, gourmet cook, oenologist, jock, horseman and perennial heart throb AND the villages and countryside of the Perigord region of Southwest France.

Without going into great plot detail, "The Devil's Cave" largely focuses on the death of a beautiful woman found nude and floating down St. Denis' river in a punt attended by signs of a satanist orgy. The woman's local roots are discovered as Bruno leads an investigation into her death and connections to a prominent family with important ties to the national government are uncovered. There is a slam-bang close to this novel that takes place in an underground cave complex that the region is famous for. Along the way to the finish, there is plenty of time for Bruno to produce great meals, engage in vintage wine name-dropping, romance and bonding with a new dog.

It is Chief Bruno's personal life that makes this book--and its predecessors--such addictive reading (my opinion). And the ample time spent in "The Devil's Cave" on the man/dog relationship will probably make regular fans of the series raving fanatics. It's pretty irresistible.

This is a fine read albeit with a few moments of excess--over-the-top on the satanist stuff and maybe a little overwriting in the action-centered finale--but overall, very satisfying and getting us all lined up, salivating for the next Bruno book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's hard to review a book by one of your favorite authors when you don't think it measures up to what he has written in the past. Unfortunately, that was my reaction to Martin Walker's fifth Bruno, Chief of Police, novel, The Devil's Cave.
The Bruno series is built on a firm foundation, the setting of the town of St. Denis in the Perigord area of France, and is a paean to the region's beauties both natural and gastronomic. The Devil's Cave continues to delight in this respect. The discussions of cookery especially intrigue me, and I can't wait to try Bruno's recipe for roasting a chicken impaled on an open can of beer to make it absorb a flavor that I would previously have associated only with red-meat recipes like boeuf a la flamand. Readers can also expect to learn fascinating tidbits of history or culture from a Bruno book. This one included lore about the influence of Satanism on Henry XIV's mistress and the participation of French communists in the WW II Resistance, and, appropriately in a series where love of animals is as prominent as love of people, Bruno tells us that the Marquis de Lafayette gave George Washington a gift of basset hounds.
The series also glorifies the warmth of life in a small town, as when Bruno slows to exchange kisses and handshakes in the local market while he tries to rush to a crime scene. Finally, the small-village atmosphere naturally leads to a series in which relationships play an important role and continuing characters become old friends. This book adds a delightful new character, the basset hound puppy Balzac.
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Format: Paperback
It's a Saturday morning two weeks before Easter and Bruno Courreges, the one-man police force of the the small Dordogne town of St. Denis, is in church listening to choir practice when news comes of a nude body in a punt drifting down the river. Soon rumor has it that the body of the unknown woman shows hallmarks of a ritual Satanic killing. Then comes word of allegedly related devilish doings in the town's leading tourist attraction, the Gouffre de Colombac (a k a the Devil's Cave). Or is it, as Bruno suspects, just a gambit by the owner to attract more visitors? Meanwhile, town honchos are at odds with the mayor over a proposal by a relatively unknown group to build a "vacation village with a golf course" in St. Denis. Along the way, a new puppy arrives along with Isabelle,the detective Bruno loves. Bruno cooks up some mouth-watering meals, as usual. And assorted in- and out-of-wedlock heirs scheme for control over the estate of the ill, elderly and long unseen "Red Countess," a once famous WWII Resistance courier who hung out with Sartre and Piaf and Brel in the '50s and De Gaulle called "a heroine of France." A long, tense gunfight inside the Devil's Cave ends this fifth in the Bruno series with a bang.

Martin Walker's brilliantly imagined and wonderfully well written "Bruno" series, in chronological order: "Bruno, Chief of Police," "The Dark Vineyard," "Black Diamond," "The Crowded grave," "The Devil's Cave," "Resistance Man" and "Children of War."

Sidenote: If you go to Walker's Bruno web site, you can watch a half-hour book tour chat by the author at Washington's Politics and Prose bookstore, where he tells anecdotes and behind-the-stories stories about the series, himself, the cop who inspired the character of Bruno and some of the real life people and history and incidents that would find their way into these books.
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