Bruno, Chief of Police

Bruno, Chief of Police

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno—as he is affectionately nicknamed—may be the town’s only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police.

Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life—living in his restored shepherd’s cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno’s attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest.

Because of the case’s potential political ramifications, a young policewoman is sent from Paris to aid Bruno with his investigation. The two immediately suspect militants from the anti-immigrant National Front, but when a visiting scholar helps to untangle the dead man’s past, Bruno’s suspicions turn toward a more complex motive. His investigation draws him into one of the darkest chapters of French history—World War II, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period’s sinister legacy.

Bruno, Chief of Police
is deftly dark, mesmerizing, and totally engaging.

Baker & Taylor
When the murdered body of an elderly French army soldier is found with a swastika carved into his chest, Benoit Courreges, the chief of police in a small French village in the South of France and affectionately nicknamed Bruno, turns his suspicions toward a tortured period of French history when the government turned on its own citizens to help the Germans wage war.

Blackwell North Amer
The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoit Courreges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the cafe still rule. Bruno - as he is affectionately nicknamed - may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police.
Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life - living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest.
Because of the case's potential political ramifications, a young policewoman is sent from Paris to aid Bruno with his investigation. The two immediately suspect militants from the anti-immigrant National Front, but when a visiting scholar helps to untangle the dead man's past, Bruno's suspicions turn toward a more complex motive. His investigation draws him into one of the darkest chapters of French history - World War II, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period's sinister legacy.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, c2008
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780307270177
0307270173
9780307454690
Characteristics: 273 p. ; 23 cm

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j
jcosner13
May 09, 2017

A very interesting view of everything French. Bruno is a renaissance man -- he loves to cook and entertain, he's faithful to his country, town, and friends; he usually chooses the least violent method of apprehending offenders, and is an all-round nice guy -- but there's steel in that lovely muscled body, and Bruno isn't afraid of danger or standing up for what's right. If you're tired of the same-old detective novels, give Bruno a try. Besides solving mysteries, you might learn some French!

k
kyle000
Feb 25, 2017

I am really enjoying this series!

r
Rubicat
Feb 10, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable novel. It could have been a bit less filled with food references and a bit more about a killing & subsequent investigation but I suppose that will gradually change as the series goes on. I am looking forward to reading more of Bruno's books. He is a really likable character and the town/commune is charming & idyllic - very much like Three Pines/Trois Pins in Louise Penney's series with Armand Gamache as the chief detective. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot and intend to read the rest of the series as soon as I can get them.

d
DorisWaggoner
Nov 25, 2016

Bruno, Chief of Police , the only police officer in a small town in the south of France is a former soldier who's chosen the slow pace and good cooking (much of it his own) of a beautifully described countryside. He's more interested in justice than in the letter of the law, and teaches tennis to small boys, so that they will grow up to be good citizens. It works, mostly. So when the first murder in memory occurs, it's a shock to everyone. The National Police are sent in to help. Bruno and his friend the Mayor don't like their methods--except that Bruno's very attracted to Isabelle, the only woman National Police officer. The murder victim is a reclusive elderly Arab from North Africa, one of a group who settled peacefully in the area; the younger generations are French citizens, and many are good rugby players--important to the French. What Bruno, the Mayor, and Isabelle conclude makes me want to read the rest of the series. I deducted some stars because a bit of explanation or translation of French phrases and history would have made the beginning of the book easier for me to understand. I soon got into it, however.

m
maipenrai
Nov 05, 2016

The first book in the Bruno, Chief of Police Investigation series

LPL_KateG May 31, 2016

This first-in-series fills the senses - Martin Walker transports you right to rural France and the quirky, quaint community of St. Denis. While this has some cozy mystery elements, it's also based around a crime that is not for the faint of heart. A great blend of charm and grime (and wine!)

k
kehuben
Feb 29, 2016

I really liked this, primarily because Bruno is just such a likeable guy. The book is carried by Bruno and his fellow residents of St. Denis. The description of the town and the people has me ready to pack my bags and be on the next flight to the Perigod.
The mystery was not too hard to solve, but the information about the role of the Algerians in WWII France and the ongoing roles they have played in the French army was quite fascinating. I also appreciated that Walker handled the problems of racism and ethnocentricity in a way that blended the discussion into the story rather than giving the reader a feeling of being preached at.

d
dondi49
Feb 08, 2015

Bruno Series #1

JCLGreggW Jul 16, 2014

Not quite a cozy, not quite a noir, not quite a police procedural - it's all of these and more. Set in a fiercely independent yet patriotic rural France, St. Denis' lone policeman, Bruno, keeps the peace. He teaches tennis to children, makes his own wine, and has to deal with the town's first murder in memory - an old Arab with a swastika carved in his chest. A laid-back pace and wonderful descriptions of the setting and citizens of St. Denis make this an immersive novel - readers will smell the cooking and taste the flavors of France.

s
stephaniedchase
May 08, 2014

A wonderful start to a new series following life in the small French town of St Denis, through the eyes of its one and only police officer, Bruno. The story manages to both be enchanting -- lovely descriptions of life, food, and landscape -- and chilling, with the plot touching on the repression of Algerians, the Vichy regime, and immigration. I am eager to read the next in the series!

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