Friday 30 June 2023

This Poison Will Remain

Finished June 25
This Poison Will Remain by Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds

This is the 11th book in the Commissaire Adamsberg series. Here Adamsberg is summoned back from Iceland for a case and is soon missing his son who stayed on there. He is at first dealing the case that recalled him, a hit and run death of a woman that has some subtlety to it, but that is dealt with fairly quickly. During that case, he has become aware both through the attention one of his staff, Voisenet, to some deaths due to a spider, one that is not typically deadly. This captures his attention, and he begins to gather information on the deaths himself. 
He also begins to realize that one of his own men is actively working against him, and applies himself to that puzzle. 
The spider case is quite interesting, and one that takes him from Paris to the south of France, where the deaths have occurred. He looks for links between the victims, and finds an interesting name that links the spider to some of the victims. As he looks deeper, he discovers other deaths that seem suspect when the link between the victims is known. He soon realizes that the group of men who are potential victims is narrowing with each death, and he puts some effort into protecting those remaining. 
He encounters and begins to consult with an amateur spider specialist, and finds her to be very helpful as the case progresses. 
As usual with this series, the unusual mental connections that questions that Adamsberg comes up with really make the story and are key to the plot. The side stories here, from the initial case, to the attempted betrayal of one his men, to the crime against another staff member, and to his own buried childhood memories all link through a common theme. 
This is a book that I read in small pieces as Vargas always leads me to go down other rabbit holes from her use of connections, quotations, and analogies. 
I also liked the appearance of one of the characters from a different, although linked series, Mathias from The Three Evangelists and a new connection to a character I love from Adamsberg's team. 
Always an educational read, this was also an interesting set of puzzles. 

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