Thursday, 23 April 2009

First in Series

Finished April 22
The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
The first in the series featuring Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg has now been translated into English. I've read several other books in the series and loved them, so had to go back to see the beginning.
It offered insights into the more recent books featuring him, showing him when he first took on the job in Paris, commissaire of the police headquarters of the 5th arrondissement, and introduces some of his staff. The only staff member shown in detail here is Danglard, but his portrayl is done very nicely. We see the thought processes of Adamsberg and learn of his history with Camille.
The mystery here is the appearance of blue chalk circles overnight on the pavement in Paris. The circles are large, about two metres in diameter and have words written around the edge: "Victor, woe's in store, what are you out here for?" Within the circle is some discarded item, and the circle appears to be drawing attention to it. Adamsberg feels there is something darker going on and begins to gather photos of the circles. Sure enough, one morning there is a dead body in the circle and the pictures Adamsberg gather prove useful in determining pattern. Adamsberg also has a woman who has come to see him because she wants help finding a man she met in a cafe. She also mentions the chalk circles and Adamsberg finds himself drawn into a series of meetings with her.
I quite enjoyed this one, and wish that they had translated them from the beginning so I could have read them in order.

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