A review of just one of the glorious Eurocrime novels that are coming in now thanks to a special buy. We explored a huge range of crime fiction from right across Europe to do the buy. Do try some of these authors, they’re well worth a go.
We’ll do some more reviews but new this week is a novel by Jean-Luc Bannalec.
Probably you haven’t heard of him? He is in fact a German writer and publisher called Jorg Bong, and this is his first novel; Bannalec is in fact a small village quite near Pont-Aven. The novel was published in Germany to great acclaim in 2012, then came out in France and is now available in English, thanks to translator Sorcha McDonagh.
At the Central Hotel in Pont-Aven, Brittany, 91-year-old manager Pierre-Louis Pennec is found murdered. Police Commissaire George Dupin and his team take on the investigation and narrow the list of suspects down to five people, including a rising political star; a longtime friend of the victim; and a wealthy art historian. Further incidents – first a break-in, then another mysterious death – muddy the waters more. As Commissaire Dupin delves further and further into the lives of the victim and the suspects, he uncovers a web of secrecy and criminality that belies the village’s idyllic image
Dupin is a great detective creation. He is a little bit like Maigret, and as the novel begins he is having coffee in the Amiral Hotel, a real restaurant which featured in Simenon’s novel ‘The Yellow Dog’.
Grumpy, not very communicative, and a great coffee drinker, he likes the ladies and it is hinted that he’s had a rather complicated love life and he may be about to embark on a relationship with the beautiful art historian, Marie Morgane Cassel. As a bonus there are some lovely descriptions of French towns and villages which add to the charm.