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Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before. But Bruno’s sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn’t see this investigation as a priority – there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. Meanwhile, a Musl Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before. But Bruno’s sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn’t see this investigation as a priority – there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. Meanwhile, a Muslim youth named Sami turns up at a French army base in Afghanistan hoping to get home to St Denis. One of Bruno’s old army comrades helps to smuggle Sami back to France, but the FBI aren’t far behind. Then an American woman appears in St Denis with a warrant for Sami’s extradition. Bruno must unravel these multiple mysteries, amidst pressure from his bosses, and find his own way to protect his town and its people.


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Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before. But Bruno’s sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn’t see this investigation as a priority – there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. Meanwhile, a Musl Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before. But Bruno’s sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn’t see this investigation as a priority – there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. Meanwhile, a Muslim youth named Sami turns up at a French army base in Afghanistan hoping to get home to St Denis. One of Bruno’s old army comrades helps to smuggle Sami back to France, but the FBI aren’t far behind. Then an American woman appears in St Denis with a warrant for Sami’s extradition. Bruno must unravel these multiple mysteries, amidst pressure from his bosses, and find his own way to protect his town and its people.

30 review for Children of War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Margitte

    "The Children Return" and "Children of War" is actually the same book. Two different titles for two different markets and it is HIGHLY confusing!!!! Both books are no. #7 in the Bruno, Chief Of Police series. Well, I guess it happened before and will happen again with many books being published on both sides of the Atlantic. **sigh** Nevertheless, we're back with the most important police officer in St.Denis, France. Jihadists, Holocaust survivors, orphans, a young dog, powerful horses, beautifu "The Children Return" and "Children of War" is actually the same book. Two different titles for two different markets and it is HIGHLY confusing!!!! Both books are no. #7 in the Bruno, Chief Of Police series. Well, I guess it happened before and will happen again with many books being published on both sides of the Atlantic. **sigh** Nevertheless, we're back with the most important police officer in St.Denis, France. Jihadists, Holocaust survivors, orphans, a young dog, powerful horses, beautiful women and scrumptious food fill the palette again. Huge old chateaus and French bucolic magic abound. Pamela is still determined not to get married, still only allow men to love her when she desires it; Fabiola is still the doctor in town, doing well, until a Dr. Deutz is invited, under high security circumstances to observe Sami, an autistic young man who return from Afghanistan under mysterious circumstances. Bruno, chief of police has his hands full and his arsenal ready to take on every single moment as it comes, and walking out as the hero of France. That is, after he could get a serious diplomatic and political crises disappear in the line of fire. Well, what else can be expected? Nobody knows how to keep a town happy like the rugby-loving, high voltage policeman who cooks up a storm, knows how to treat women, and have all criminals shudder in his presence. He loves animals, and his vegetable garden is sublime. And perhaps there's a new love interest for this dashing man on a horse. Visiting St. Denis again was a delightful, highly dramatic experience, filled with the usual elements to make it a classic Benoît Courèges moment. I take it slow with our hero and his shenanigans. Allow myself a few months in between the books in this series, but it is always such a pleasure to be back in our dearly beloved police chief's life. Life is one big war, but Bruno knows how to grab the good moments in between and celebrate the ultimate highs, the rare moments of happiness that can pass one by in an instant. What I love about this series is that serious issues are counterbalanced with lighter moments. The author has a gentle way of addressing reality without seeking a story in the dungeons of darkness. There's always light and laughter no matter what the circumstances are. A laissez faire, but highly interesting, fast paced read again.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tim The Enchanter

    My Number 6 Best Read of 2015 and Gavel Award for Best New (to me) Author Posted to The Literary Lawyer Bruno at his Best - 5 Stars At the time of writing this review, Children of War is the most recent book in the series. If you note the short time between my review of this book and the first in the series, it will reveal that this has become on of my favorite crime series. Martin Walker has the ability to write characters that are multi-dimensional, likeable, charming and realistic. His mos My Number 6 Best Read of 2015 and Gavel Award for Best New (to me) Author Posted to The Literary Lawyer Bruno at his Best - 5 Stars At the time of writing this review, Children of War is the most recent book in the series. If you note the short time between my review of this book and the first in the series, it will reveal that this has become on of my favorite crime series. Martin Walker has the ability to write characters that are multi-dimensional, likeable, charming and realistic. His most recent installment also proves to be one of his best and shows continued growth in the series. Plot Summary This time around Bruno is drawn into a web of intrigue that covers Islamic Terrorism, the French treatment of the Jews during the Holocaust, the limits of criminal responsibility and the effects of war and conflict on the young. Early in the book, Bruno is contacted by a former colleague and is advised that a young man has been found in Afghanistan claiming that he is originally from St. Denis, the hometown of Bruno. It is revealed he is the adopted son of a local Muslim family. The young man is autistic and was supposed to be in a specialized school run out of one of the biggest Mosques in France. At his return, many claims are made about this young man that do not fit the character that the town has come to know. His return results in danger to many individuals in St. Denis as it appears that some Islamic Extremists are hunting the young man. The relatively simple matters turns into a matter of national importance as Bruno once again finds himself seconded into the service of the Brigadier. Lots to Love The plots in each of the books in this series are complex. They cover multiple storylines and varying topics. In my opinion, this book contains the best and most complex plot yet. It wonderfully explores the damage war inflicts on those who live through it. All of the novels have explored, in part, how war effected the main character Bruno. Much of his life has been filtered through his experience. Beyond this we see how the young man, Sami, is changed by jihadism and Islamic terrorism, a modern war. This is contrasted nicely with a parallel storyline that reveals the details of two Jewish children who were hidden and protected during the Holocaust. If you are reading this review and you haven't yet started this series, I strongly recommend you grab the first one and get reading. For every dark element in the book, Martin Walker provides a corresponding elements of light. This results in a serious storyline and serious crime but it is seen through the eyes of characters that have not let this darkness overshadow their lives. The characters are fleshed out and interesting. While there are a few reoccurring elements (the appearance of the Brigadier) most of the growth of characters are relationship rise and fall in an organic manner. The characters seem real and their situations plausible. This will, without a doubt, be one of, if not the best, series that I discovered in 2015. If you want crime and mystery but don't want to hand in your soul to get it, I suggest you visit Bruno, Chief of Police.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    One of the most charming things about the Bruno Chief of Police series has been that the small village of St. Denis seems lost in some sort of time warp, with more ties to the past than the present. In the tightly plotted seventh book in the series, the past and present collide to put a wary face on the future. Published in the UK as The Children of War, this book is all about the effects of war upon our most vulnerable. Walker once again highlights southwestern France's part in World War II by One of the most charming things about the Bruno Chief of Police series has been that the small village of St. Denis seems lost in some sort of time warp, with more ties to the past than the present. In the tightly plotted seventh book in the series, the past and present collide to put a wary face on the future. Published in the UK as The Children of War, this book is all about the effects of war upon our most vulnerable. Walker once again highlights southwestern France's part in World War II by weaving in a storyline about two Jewish children who were hidden away outside St. Denis during the Second World War. The surviving sibling wants to reward the villagers for their kindness and bravery, but first she must see what they would do with their "inheritance." As Bruno gets his group of planners together, it's a wonderful way to show how the past can have a beneficial effect upon the future. We need that happier remembrance because Sami represents the horrors of the war with Algeria-- how that war still affects France, and the fate of so many Muslim immigrants that have flooded into the country. Walker shows us the differences between how France and the U.S. fight the war on terror by bringing in Nancy Sutton, an American intelligence officer. Of course where Bruno is concerned, Nancy won't be able to remain solely as an example of truth, justice, and the American Way. Will Nancy be the right woman for Bruno at this stage in his life? It's something that we're just going to have to watch play out. And while we're keeping an eye on Bruno and Nancy and wondering if everyone is going to be able to keep Sami (the gold mine of al-Qaeda intel) safe, we still have time to sample life in St. Denis. This time it's the vendage-- the grape harvest-- with its special celebratory food and wine. By continuing to show us various aspects of the culture and cuisine of St. Denis, the author reminds us why places like this need to survive-- and why it takes people like Bruno to keep them safe. In talking about murder and mayhem, Martin Walker has created one of the best crime fiction series going-- one that reminds us of kindness, decency, and rich full lives.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    While I enjoy Walker's meticulous research (in this case into Jewish children being hidden in the French countryside during WWII), it feels like every book needs to be more dramatic and bigger than the previous at this point, with Bruno getting mixed up in all kinds of conspiracies, international syndicates, drug cartels, or terrorists, always miraculously escaping ala James Bond. Which, given that he lives out in the middle of nowhere in a tiny little town in France, seems just a tiny little bi While I enjoy Walker's meticulous research (in this case into Jewish children being hidden in the French countryside during WWII), it feels like every book needs to be more dramatic and bigger than the previous at this point, with Bruno getting mixed up in all kinds of conspiracies, international syndicates, drug cartels, or terrorists, always miraculously escaping ala James Bond. Which, given that he lives out in the middle of nowhere in a tiny little town in France, seems just a tiny little bit hard to believe to me. Oh well. I'm sure I'll enjoy the next one more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Very moving story on the horrors of war, racism, religious extremism, etc. AND Bruno, his puppy, his friends, his food and wine, his countryside, his shootouts, and a hot new American girlfriend! Once again, this seems like a preposterous recipe for a book but somehow Walker makes it work. Chapeau!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Bruno is told that people who were sheltered as Jewish children by a local San Denis family during WWII wants to donate to the town to show their gratitude, and Bruno and Florence have the school children come up with plans. Meanwhile, a local autistic youth who has disappeared from a mosque school is found in Afghanistan and brought back to France. Could he be the notorious "engineer" responsible for IED's that killed so many? Walker does a great job at bringing all of the intriguing plots toge Bruno is told that people who were sheltered as Jewish children by a local San Denis family during WWII wants to donate to the town to show their gratitude, and Bruno and Florence have the school children come up with plans. Meanwhile, a local autistic youth who has disappeared from a mosque school is found in Afghanistan and brought back to France. Could he be the notorious "engineer" responsible for IED's that killed so many? Walker does a great job at bringing all of the intriguing plots together, while giving us the flavor of the small French town and its insightful Chief of Police. Great narration again provided by Robert Mackenzie.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Miller

    Wow! Hold onto your hat, it's going to be a fast and bumpy ride! What a smorgasbord Martin Walker sets with his wonderful Bruno mysteries! We met Bruno in the first book of the series and learned he is Chief of Police "...of the small French town of St. Denis..." He is a man with a past, a very dark and complex past, and his past continues to unfold through the mysteries in dark and complex ways, but in a beautiful setting with wonderful and interesting friends and people in his life -- and for Wow! Hold onto your hat, it's going to be a fast and bumpy ride! What a smorgasbord Martin Walker sets with his wonderful Bruno mysteries! We met Bruno in the first book of the series and learned he is Chief of Police "...of the small French town of St. Denis..." He is a man with a past, a very dark and complex past, and his past continues to unfold through the mysteries in dark and complex ways, but in a beautiful setting with wonderful and interesting friends and people in his life -- and for a small town in France, oh, the trouble that manages to find it, and Bruno! Here is a whirlwind of lives fraught with complications and/or tragedy; of modern, recent, and sometimes ancient European history both past and in the making; of espionage and violence; of sweetness and tenderness; of love affairs coming and going; and laced in with it, an epicurean romance with French wine and food. A trek through the woods for mushrooms and truffles. Gourmet dinners in the soft summer air on the patio. And the next thing you know, lights, cameras, helicopters, international diplomats and press, and always, the law. This is Walker's latest, and I had to order it from Amazon in England. I just couldn't wait until they got around publishing it in the USA! I have to add, I'm not much for violence, and there is some very grisly stuff; however, the tales are so rich in characters and setting, and filled with very real history lessons and character studies, even I can get past it. I'm a huge fan of John le Carré, and I have no difficulty putting Martin Walker on the bookshelf right beside him. The other books in the series are, in order: Bruno, Chief of Police; Dark Vineyard; Black Diamond; The Crowded Grave; The Devil's Cave; The Resistance Man; Children of War. Oh, now how long shall I have to wait for the next one????????!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is the latest novel in the "Bruno, Chief of Police" series, and can no longer be called a cosy mystery. It is more an action-packed thriller, which still takes place in beautiful countryside of the Dordogne and with the same lovable characters as the previous ones. As with the others, it is well written except, perhaps, for the dialogues, which sometimes seem to me a bit stilted. This time the story is very much in tune with current affairs in France, as young and vulnerable Muslims are rec This is the latest novel in the "Bruno, Chief of Police" series, and can no longer be called a cosy mystery. It is more an action-packed thriller, which still takes place in beautiful countryside of the Dordogne and with the same lovable characters as the previous ones. As with the others, it is well written except, perhaps, for the dialogues, which sometimes seem to me a bit stilted. This time the story is very much in tune with current affairs in France, as young and vulnerable Muslims are recruited for jihad in the Middle East. Although it is a novel, the writer is very knowledgeable on this subject. The bonus history lesson relates a story of Jewish children taken in and hidden during WWII by inhabitants of the fictional village of St Denis, as well as the destruction of a village called Mouleydier by the Germans in June 1944. I really look forward to reading the next novel in this series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    gaudeo

    This was probably my favorite so far of the Bruno series, centering partly on the story of Jewish kids who were hidden in small towns in the south of France during WWII. (I have a personal connection to one such story, so that may make a difference too.) The other main story has to do with a young French Muslim man who was coerced into the jihadist movement in Afghanistan but escapes. With such exciting stories afoot, Bruno has less time than in some books to cook and to enjoy his wine, but food This was probably my favorite so far of the Bruno series, centering partly on the story of Jewish kids who were hidden in small towns in the south of France during WWII. (I have a personal connection to one such story, so that may make a difference too.) The other main story has to do with a young French Muslim man who was coerced into the jihadist movement in Afghanistan but escapes. With such exciting stories afoot, Bruno has less time than in some books to cook and to enjoy his wine, but food and drink still figure into the mix--as does a new romance to boot. A lot going on in this single book! But Walker makes it work well. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Suzy

    I realized recently that it had been a year since I read a Bruno mystery! I started this one last fall in audio, didn't click with the narrator and as I was a little burned out on Bruno I didn't pursue it in print. The time lapse did me good - I enjoyed this one even more than the previous couple of books and am glad I'm reconnected with my old friend and the citizens of St. Denis! On to The Patriarch. I realized recently that it had been a year since I read a Bruno mystery! I started this one last fall in audio, didn't click with the narrator and as I was a little burned out on Bruno I didn't pursue it in print. The time lapse did me good - I enjoyed this one even more than the previous couple of books and am glad I'm reconnected with my old friend and the citizens of St. Denis! On to The Patriarch.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    Easily the best thing about these Bruno, Chief of Police, books is the descriptions of food and wine, the food usually cooked by Bruno and served along with local wines to his friends in long, leisurely meals. There wasn't much of that in this particular entry and I missed those interludes. This is the seventh book in this series and the plot develops along three parallel paths that finally converge. The first plot line concerns French Muslims. First, the tortured and murdered body of an undercove Easily the best thing about these Bruno, Chief of Police, books is the descriptions of food and wine, the food usually cooked by Bruno and served along with local wines to his friends in long, leisurely meals. There wasn't much of that in this particular entry and I missed those interludes. This is the seventh book in this series and the plot develops along three parallel paths that finally converge. The first plot line concerns French Muslims. First, the tortured and murdered body of an undercover Muslim cop is found in the woods around Bruno's town of St. Denis. It develops that the cop had been investigating a mosque in Toulouse that may be a center of jihadist activity. Then it turns out that a local young autistic man who had been sent to a special school at the mosque had gone missing and had ended up in Afghanistan where his special skills had been exploited by the Taliban for making bombs. Now, the young man, Sami, has escaped and found his way to some French troops and is being returned to France. Secondly, a bequest from a recently deceased Jewish doctor who, along with his sister, had been hidden from the Nazis by a family from St. Denis during World War II, offers the town a possibility of making some much needed civic improvements if they can come up with a proposal that meets the approval of the surviving sister. The sister and her grandson travel to the area to examine the sites where the two children were sheltered during the war and to view the town's proposal. Third, the town's doctor, Fabiola, is confronted with a dark and humiliating secret from her past which threatens to destroy her fragile new relationship with the journalist Gilles, and their good friends, Bruno and his long-time paramour Pamela, rally round to try to ferret out the secret and to aid the new relationship. Oh, and if that weren't enough, there's an intriguing American diplomat/FBI agent (a beautiful and accomplished woman, naturally!) thrown into the mix and Bruno is instantly attracted to her. How will all these various tales sort themselves out? Well, Martin Walker does manage to weave them all together in the end, but it is not seamless. In fact, it is a bit of a strain. Bruno and his puppy, Balzac, are charming characters and the best entries in this series - in my opinion - are strong on the interaction between them and their neighbors and friends, the animals on the farm, and the garden and woods which provides the ingredients for Bruno's gourmet meals. More of that, please!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    A decent outing in this terrific series but not one of my favourites. I still love Bruno and I still love St. Denis but this #7 in the series was missing something for me. The plot was fast-paced and intriguing involving a young boy recruited and radicalized by Jihadists and an interesting look into history with a side story of Jewish children in France being hidden and protected by Protestants in rural France. These two stories did converge somewhat but throughout, the flow of the novel remaine A decent outing in this terrific series but not one of my favourites. I still love Bruno and I still love St. Denis but this #7 in the series was missing something for me. The plot was fast-paced and intriguing involving a young boy recruited and radicalized by Jihadists and an interesting look into history with a side story of Jewish children in France being hidden and protected by Protestants in rural France. These two stories did converge somewhat but throughout, the flow of the novel remained disjointed. Also What was missing I think was that there was less local flavour and that rural French quaintness in this book. As well, Bruno did not cook enough and there was not enough time devoted to those long French meals and conversations that occurred in earlier books. Still an excellent, enjoyable series and I look forward to reading the next (#8).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Slack

    My least favourite in the series to date.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephan Benzkofer

    Martin Walker takes it up a notch in The Children Return. The action starts early and doesn't let up. That doesn't mean we don't get to enjoy the French countryside, fine wine, and good food, by any means, so this is the complete package. Martin Walker takes it up a notch in The Children Return. The action starts early and doesn't let up. That doesn't mean we don't get to enjoy the French countryside, fine wine, and good food, by any means, so this is the complete package.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    There seems to be some confusion over this one. I know I read it, but it has two different titles for the same book: "The Children Return" and "Children of War", same story, same #7. I wish they wouldn't do that! This is the latest novel in the "Bruno, Chief of Police" series, and can no longer be called a cosy mystery. It is more an action-packed thriller, which still takes place in beautiful countryside of the Dordogne and with the same lovable characters as the previous ones. As with the oth There seems to be some confusion over this one. I know I read it, but it has two different titles for the same book: "The Children Return" and "Children of War", same story, same #7. I wish they wouldn't do that! This is the latest novel in the "Bruno, Chief of Police" series, and can no longer be called a cosy mystery. It is more an action-packed thriller, which still takes place in beautiful countryside of the Dordogne and with the same lovable characters as the previous ones. As with the others, it is well written except, perhaps, for the dialogues, which sometimes seem to me a bit stilted. This time the story is very much in tune with current affairs in France, as young and vulnerable Muslims are recruited for jihad in the Middle East. Although it is a novel, the writer is very knowledgeable on this subject. The bonus history lesson relates a story of Jewish children taken in and hidden during WWII by inhabitants of the fictional village of St Denis, as well as the destruction of a village called Mouleydier by the Germans in June 1944. I really look forward to reading the next novel in this series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Larraine

    I've only read a few books in this series, however this one is very different from the others. Bruno is not just solving a problem in his town of St. Denis, he is involved in something very different. The tortured body of an undercover police officer, Rafiq, is found nearby. At the same time, Bruno learns that Sami, an autistic savant, who was supposed to being educated in a Toulouse mosque that is known for its autism education, was, in fact, spirited off to Afghanistan. Sami has returned after I've only read a few books in this series, however this one is very different from the others. Bruno is not just solving a problem in his town of St. Denis, he is involved in something very different. The tortured body of an undercover police officer, Rafiq, is found nearby. At the same time, Bruno learns that Sami, an autistic savant, who was supposed to being educated in a Toulouse mosque that is known for its autism education, was, in fact, spirited off to Afghanistan. Sami has returned after finding his way to French authorities in Afghanistan. He is returned to St. Denis and his adopted parents, his aunt and uncle. However, he is a person of interest to French and American authorities because he is apparently The Engineer, the person who designed devious and intricate bombs. He is also being pursued by the same people who murdered the undercover police officer. There's also a spark of romance when Bruno meets Nancy, an American agent, not to mention Bruno's cooking expertise! This was an interesting departure from the series with a lot of action and suspense and really not a mystery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katharina

    I am getting a bit tired of the forced making each book into an international scandal or something with a huge crime syndicate. There doesn't seem to be a murder anymore in that small town that doesn't involve secret services etc. Unlikely to happen in such a small town, it's getting tiring. Also getting wary of Bruno with his never-ending reheating of old flames and still chasing after each skirt and complaining why he has no kids yet. It's still a good book, but they get so repetitive, it's rea I am getting a bit tired of the forced making each book into an international scandal or something with a huge crime syndicate. There doesn't seem to be a murder anymore in that small town that doesn't involve secret services etc. Unlikely to happen in such a small town, it's getting tiring. Also getting wary of Bruno with his never-ending reheating of old flames and still chasing after each skirt and complaining why he has no kids yet. It's still a good book, but they get so repetitive, it's really annoying.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    *ARC This book took me on a journey. I love it when books can take me to another place. This book is a perfect mix of international thriller, mystery, and yes, chick lit. It was so well written that I felt truly a part of the village. I could anticipate how the characters would react, almost taste the dishes Bruno made, and wanted to hang out at the pool party, and wine celebration with them. I look forward to his next adventure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The ongoing story of Bruno, well done! This story was an excellent addition to the Bruno series, well written through the ending, leaving us with ideas of things to come. While the endings for the last few books were rushed, this story was paced well and the ending nicely drafted.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Another excellent book by Martin Walker. Oh for the wine country in France.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Campbell Ackroyd

    I am not usually a "thriller" person but I received this as a free audiobook so decided to give it a try. I almost gave up after the first chapter, which described a very graphic assassination. However, I continued and became more and more engrossed in the story. Bruno is Chief of Police in the small town of St Denis in Perigord, France. He loves good food, wine, romance, the people in his town and the community around, but he also has a background in the French equivalent of the British SAS and I am not usually a "thriller" person but I received this as a free audiobook so decided to give it a try. I almost gave up after the first chapter, which described a very graphic assassination. However, I continued and became more and more engrossed in the story. Bruno is Chief of Police in the small town of St Denis in Perigord, France. He loves good food, wine, romance, the people in his town and the community around, but he also has a background in the French equivalent of the British SAS and is an excellent ferreter-out of secrets. He is called in on two very different cases. One for "the Brigadier"--some kind of military leader in the French forces, I couldn't quite understand his rank as I was listening, not reading--who wants to catch the jihadists who murdered one of his undercover agents. This case quickly becomes more complex when an old friend of Bruno's, a young Muslim boy with autism, is repatriated from Afghanistan, having been deeply involved with terrorists there. The Brits want him, the Americans want him but the French have him in custody. And Bruno knows best how to help both the boy and his family and the governments. As the case unfolds Bruno meets an American diplomat with whom he has an instant attraction. Considering he is also semi-involved with another women in St-Denis that could put Bruno on a par with James Bond. But Bruno is far more emotional than James Bond ever seemed to be--at least in the way that the earlier actors portrayed him, before Daniel Craig. I digress, this is no Ian Fleming novel thank goodness. The second case concerns two young Jewish children sent from Paris during World War 2 and hidden in St-Denis. Seventy-odd years later, the surviving child, now a wealthy Israeli venture capitalist, wants to donate a huge sum of money to St-Denis in thanks but she wants to know how that money will be spent. Bruno quickly and ingeniously comes up with a plan that interests her to such an extent that she decides to visit St-Denis in a Rolls Royce and announce the huge bequest to the media. At the same time as jihadists are descending on the area in search of the young boy who is spilling all of their secrets. The two cases collide with an explosive ending. Oh and there is actually also a third case, about sexual harassment. It's a tribute to Walker's writing that he can juggle all these threads and come out with a cohesive novel. As I said, I am not usually a fan of thrillers as they are too military, too gory, for me. But this one was good. Especially as the narrator has a wonderful voice. True, he is British not French, but his accent is lovely, both the British and the French. His descriptions of French food and wine, the French way of life, had me longing to get back there. I will definitely be reading more of the Bruno, Chief of Police series, starting with #1 this time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I really liked this book, which I read out of order, and it helped me understand some things that happen in his latest book. We've lived many years in Germany, and in the Middle East, and I really like that Walker treats the Islamic culture realistically, and compassionately, differentiating between different ideologies and sects. The family of Sami, returned from Afghanistan, is portrayed sympathetically. They are part of the close knit community of St. Denis, they are doing their best to help I really liked this book, which I read out of order, and it helped me understand some things that happen in his latest book. We've lived many years in Germany, and in the Middle East, and I really like that Walker treats the Islamic culture realistically, and compassionately, differentiating between different ideologies and sects. The family of Sami, returned from Afghanistan, is portrayed sympathetically. They are part of the close knit community of St. Denis, they are doing their best to help their nephew, Sami, who is autistic / thinks differently. Of course, I always love that Bruno cooks wonderful meals for his friends, and that he has a complicated love life. I love how so many of the characters are in each book. My husband and I like these books so much we plan to visit the region this year, and we take notes as we read the books :-) Walker writes some of the most realistic, and therefore frightening, scenes of conflict in the genre. His violence is uncomfortable, and painful, and bloody. While a confrontation may actually take mere seconds, it is described so minutely that, as in real life, time sometimes seem to slow down, and in the midst of danger, you see and experience with extraordinary clarity. I also liked his exploration of rape, and the challenges of a more sensitive culture. Bruno confronts some of his own behavior, and the assumptions of his own culture. I didn't like the resolution of Sami's actions. I can understand the author's dilemma, but Sami was such a sympathetic creation.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    This terrorism plot sounded dry to me, but as usual, there is enough human interest woven through it to make it fabulous. The story of the North Africa Sami, an autistic member of the St. Denis community thought to be a jihadist was completely gripping. Bruno's personal life moves along as well, but not as much as some books. This was definitely a denser plot than some installments, but as usual, fabulous. This terrorism plot sounded dry to me, but as usual, there is enough human interest woven through it to make it fabulous. The story of the North Africa Sami, an autistic member of the St. Denis community thought to be a jihadist was completely gripping. Bruno's personal life moves along as well, but not as much as some books. This was definitely a denser plot than some installments, but as usual, fabulous.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The subject matter of the plot was far too serious for my taste (WW II atrocities and Modern Islamic conflicts). I also had trouble with the heavy dose of historical references. It was a struggle to keep reading. Why 4 stars? I really like Bruno and the characters of St. Denis. It is a pleasure to spend time there in spite of the negative reaction I had to the story line.

  25. 5 out of 5

    May

    Margitte said it best in her review on Feb 9, 2017!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Elliott

    Review to come.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Randi Daeger

    The people in this series have become friends and the mysteries are excellent. I cannot say enough about these Bruno books. It has been such fun to "discover" Martin Walker when he had so many books published........I've just been reading them one after another. I'm hoping this series goes on for many more years. Long live Bruno and St. Denis! The people in this series have become friends and the mysteries are excellent. I cannot say enough about these Bruno books. It has been such fun to "discover" Martin Walker when he had so many books published........I've just been reading them one after another. I'm hoping this series goes on for many more years. Long live Bruno and St. Denis!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Another great book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This 7th book in the series is more of a thriller than a mystery. Walker does a good job of showing the complexities involved in dealing with the Muslim citizens of France while investigating a possible Taliban terrorist. Sami, an autistic young man with a flair for electronics and a tragic background, returns emaciated, scarred and ill to St. Denis from Afganistan with Bruno's help. Was he a willing recruit or was he coerced? How did he come to be in Afganistan when he was supposed to be in a s This 7th book in the series is more of a thriller than a mystery. Walker does a good job of showing the complexities involved in dealing with the Muslim citizens of France while investigating a possible Taliban terrorist. Sami, an autistic young man with a flair for electronics and a tragic background, returns emaciated, scarred and ill to St. Denis from Afganistan with Bruno's help. Was he a willing recruit or was he coerced? How did he come to be in Afganistan when he was supposed to be in a special mosque school in France? (view spoiler)[I didn't care for the way Walker resolved this plot, partly because I was sad at Sami's death but mostly because it felt like a "cheat". The problem of what would become of Sami & his family was a difficult one and by killing off Sami, Walker sidestepped that complexity with a simple, though tragic, solution. (hide spoiler)] While the above story was the main plot, the book also had an interesting subplot (which I actually liked better) about 2 Jewish children who had been hidden in St. Denis during WW2 by a Protestant couple. The husband was a WW1 veteran who was gueule cassée ('broken face', one of the wounded who had severe facial injuries).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I thoroughly enjoy this series. Much more interesting and the action has increases in each new book. Side benefit is to learn about this rural part of France. It sounds very much like a place I would like to visit. Bruno, Chief of Police of a small town in the Dordogne, St. Denis, is faced with the regular daily issues, but then some are routine cropping on a daily basis, but others are much more complex and dangerous. The lives in this area part-time allowing a keen understanding of the people I thoroughly enjoy this series. Much more interesting and the action has increases in each new book. Side benefit is to learn about this rural part of France. It sounds very much like a place I would like to visit. Bruno, Chief of Police of a small town in the Dordogne, St. Denis, is faced with the regular daily issues, but then some are routine cropping on a daily basis, but others are much more complex and dangerous. The lives in this area part-time allowing a keen understanding of the people and culture. Also not the least are the wine and recipes woven into the plot. Most interesting is how he weaves into this book the current inter-cultural challenges of Muslims who come to France, or those born in France, and the challenges they face, as well. This book in particular highlights the tension that is often present in small towns as well as in larger areas as we have all seen on the news about Paris. The author highlights the difference between those who are Muslim and committed to their faith, and the radicals that sadly exist in every religion across the globe. As usual Bruno is faced with his ongoing challenge with women. On the one hand he wants to settle down with one woman and have children. On the other he continues to partner with women who are too ambitious to consider life in a small town worthwhile, or, in one case, a woman who simply cannot commit, and is past child bearing age. Oh Well!!! Along with all the other points I mention above that draw me this series, there is Bruno's love of his town and the people he has known all his life. Even when there are situations that are very dangerous, this is one of the main points of the story.

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