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The Resistance Man: A Bruno, Chief of Police novel Hardcover – February 25, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: Bruno, Chief of Police
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385349548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385349543
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Rides on horseback through the French countryside of the Dordogne. Elaborately prepared and explained meals. Wines. And, oh yes, a mystery blended into this heady mix. While most readers think the British have a line on cozies, Walker makes a great case for the French version…Much to admire and sigh over in this appetizing mystery.”

“Endearing…Existing fans and newcomers alike will savor Walker’s ability to smoothly fold suspense into his Périgordian soufflé.”
            —Publishers Weekly

“As usual…[a] celebration of la belle France. But this time, Bruno, who’s required to act as enforcer, sleuth, diplomat, comforter, impersonator, hostage negotiator and rescuer, reveals unexpected resources.”

“An exemplary entry in the police procedural, with dogged and thorough investigation techniques coupled with experienced hunches and Bruno’s usual local knowledge all contributing…A must for lovers of the series.”

“Of at least equal importance to the crimes and their resolutions…are the author’s exquisite descriptions of the food and the meals, the quirky cantankerous residents and the evocative scents of fine cheeses and flowers that infuse all of these books…A perfect way to enjoy a wonderful imaginary vacation.”
            —Read Me Deadly

“What’s not to like? ...To those making Bruno’s acquaintance for the first time: don’t be surprised if you come away from this book with a hankering to read another six or seven novels in this series—and maybe even plan a trip to France really soon.”
            —New York Journal of Books

“Rich in character, rich in culture and customs, and permeated with the most delightful sense of place…An armchair travelling sleuth’s delight.”
            —Kittling: Books

“The Resistance Man evokes all the history, culture, romance and fine food and drink you might expect of French village life, and yet there is still the opportunity for a heinous crime or two to spice things up…Endlessly charming, funny, warm, and clever, with a hero evocative of John Mortimer’s Rumpole or Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri, The Resistance Man is sure to satiate Walker’s many fans and win him lots more in the bargain.”

“Engaging…Bruno the charming police chief of the Dordogne is transcended by Bruno the brilliant chef…This is not the first Bruno mystery, and it certainly should not be the last.”
            —The Washington Times

“A passionate valentine to the splendors of the slow life: walking through the pastoral countryside, engaging in friendly gossip at the farmer’s market, or enjoying an inspired wine and cheese partnership at the corner bistro…[even as] the tranquility of life in Bruno’s village is threatened by forces inside and out.”
            —Washington Independent Review of Books

About the Author

Martin Walker is a senior fellow of the Global Business Policy Council, a private think tank for CEOs of major corporations, based in Washington, D.C. He is also editor in chief emeritus and international affairs columnist at United Press International. His five previous novels in the Bruno series are Bruno, Chief of Police; The Dark Vineyard; Black Diamond; The Crowded Grave; and The Devil’s Cave, all international best sellers. He lives in Washington, D.C., and the Dordogne.

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

And the setting is as important to the story as the characters or plot.
Carol S.
The mystery and Bruno are so good, though, that this book makes me want to go back and read the prior ones so I can get to know all these characters better.
Rick Mitchell
Bruno Courreges, Walker's humane police chief in the fictional French town of St. Denis, is a most welcoming ambassador to Perigord.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good news for Bruno fans -- he's back, along with most of the usual supporting characters, not the least of which is the Perigord village of St. Denis. In "The Resistance Man", there are several plots underway, beginning with the death of an elderly WWII resistance fighter who dies holding banknotes from a legendary cache of millions taken by the Maquis from the Vichy Government as the war turned against the Axis powers. A spate of house burglaries also becomes a full time problem for Chief Bruno as they involve an important retired British secret service agent who appears to be giving the French Government political jitters. A brutal death in the midst of all of the former introduces the Chief to the local gay community and inserts some commentary of how the French feel (variously) on the standing of that community in the nation's social structure. Add the familiar cast of Bruno's girl friends, new dog, running buddies and local cuisine and you've got the general substance of this latest installment in this pleasant series.

Overall, I enjoyed the book well enough. The French might call it genial and that's a good way to describe the whole series. If there are flaws with "Resistance" it's probably that it bites off too much to process in its 300-odd pages. Author Walker has loaded this episode with an ungainly number of new characters and subplots. One major theme turns out to be a complete red herring OR maybe the track to a future novel. Hard to tell because the subject was not resolved in this book. Another problem for me was the handling of the gay characters; while Bruno takes a tolerant view on the subject, the book nevertheless paints pretty much all of this collective as losers (in several contexts). And there was no mention of the national debate in France on gay marriage.

So, good read--maybe less finished, more loose ends than would be desirable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the sixth of Martin Walker's "Bruno" novels and, like its predecessors, a great read--well written, cleverly plotted and hugely addictive. While I think it's always a good idea to read series novels--especially mystery series novels--in chronological order, I think these tend to stand up better than most others as stand-alones.

So, first, a bit of back story for newbies: Benoit Courreges, known to all as Bruno, grew up in an orphanage, fought in Bosnia, found then lost his true love to that war, then went on to become the one-man police force of St. Denis, a small town in the Dordogne region of France that rightfully adores him and considers him "family." He's also a culinary whiz and oenophile. At the beginning of this series he meets and finds love again with Isabelle, a smart and ambitious French detective who loves him back. But, unfortunately, she's as allergic to small town life as he is to big cities and as uninterested in having children as he is deeply in need of them. No way that relationship is ever gonna have a happily ever after, yet her job keeps sending her back to St. Denis and Bruno. But that may be about to end.

So, on to book 6, which begins with the death of one of the town's few remaining WWII Resistance veterans, who's found clutching a 1940s Vichy banknote in his hands, which may be connected to a famous unsolved long-ago train robbery. On the same day comes reports of a rash of burglaries of furniture, paintings and other valuable collectibles from several houses owned by wealthy foreigners who spend their summers in this part of France. Then comes word of an Englishman found murdered in a nearby gite (a cheaply restored farmhouse turned holiday rental). Are any or all of these things connected? And if so, how? And why?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cathy G. Cole TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Whenever I learn that Martin Walker has written a new Bruno novel, I can't wait to get my hands on it. Each one is rich in character, rich in culture and customs, and permeated with the most delightful sense of place. The mysteries are intriguing and often tie into the history of the Perigord region of southwestern France.

Although the inhabitants of St. Denis aren't angels, the village can seem too idyllic at times, but I don't mind a bit. As a former journalist, Walker has an eye for the telling detail, and once you've read a Bruno novel, you have a good grasp of the land, its people, its customs, and-- mouthwateringly so-- its food and wine. St. Denis is a French village as it should be, and I enjoy reading about it.

It's easy to become hooked on Bruno's life in general: how he knows everyone who lives there, how firmly entrenched he is in the life of the village through his job and his participation in sports, celebrations, and good fellowship. Bruno is the perfect candidate for marriage, but Miss Right continually eludes him. In fact, he has some upsetting news on that front in The Resistance Man, and it's interesting to see how he comes to terms with it. If you're a crime fiction fan who yearns for plenty of forensics, you'll have to find that elsewhere; these books are all about how Bruno can solve crime through observing and knowing people. Yes, he has a gun, but he seldom ever carries it, let alone uses it.

Each one of the subplots-- from the train robbery to the burgled houses to the murdered antiques dealer to the nuclear weapons program-- is interesting in its own right, but I loved seeing how Walker has Bruno tie them together.

Martin Walker's Bruno Chief of Police series is an armchair traveling sleuth's delight. The Resistance Man can easily be read as a standalone, but why deny yourself? Curl up with Bruno and a nice glass of wine and prepare to be transported to a wonderful village in France.
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