An Uncertain Place (Commissaire Adamsberg Series #6)

An Uncertain Place (Commissaire Adamsberg Series #6)

5.0 3
by Fred Vargas, Sian Reynolds
     
 

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From the #1 bestselling French author and three-time winner of the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger Award.

When Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, the chief of police in Paris's seventh arrondissement, is called to the scene of a ghastly and highly unusual murder, he thinks it can't have anything to do with the nine pairs of shoes and

Overview

From the #1 bestselling French author and three-time winner of the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger Award.

When Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, the chief of police in Paris's seventh arrondissement, is called to the scene of a ghastly and highly unusual murder, he thinks it can't have anything to do with the nine pairs of shoes and severed feet discovered outside of London's Highgate Cemetery just a few days earlier. With the help of the murdered man's gifted physician, Adamsberg delves into the victim's disturbed psyche and unexpectedly finds himself on a path that takes him deep into the haunted past of Eastern Europe, where a centuries-old horror has come to life and is claiming victims far and wide.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bizarre crimes drive Vargas’s excellent sixth Commissaire Adamsberg mystery (after 2008’s The Night’s Foul Work). While in London for a conference, Adamsberg and his commandant, Adrien Danglard, inadvertently share in a macabre discovery: 17 shoes found next to Highgate Cemetery—with 17 severed feet inside. Back in Paris, Adamsberg confronts a horrifying, surreal murder: someone has literally torn to shreds Pierre Vaudel, a well-to-do retired journalist, in his living room. The main suspect, Émile Feuillant, Pierre’s gardener, certainly has a temper—and a police record. But would a murderer name his silly dog Cupid? A cryptic message sent by Pierre to a woman in Germany and an eerily similar murder in Austria force the investigation to go international. Meanwhile, Adamsberg slowly realizes that a new suspect is emerging: himself. Vargas, who’s won the CWA International Dagger three times, keeps her zany plot under tight control all the way to the surprising finish. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In London for a police conference, Commissaire Adamsberg (This Night's Foul Work) and his colleague Commandant Danglard join a Scotland Yard call to Highgate Cemetery; nine pairs of shoes with severed feet inside have been discovered at its entrance. Back in Paris a few days later, Adamsberg is called to a gruesome crime scene in which the victim has been dismembered and pulverized. Could this be related to the mysterious feet in London? A connection is soon found that leads the commissaire to Serbia and a centuries-old family feud involving vampires. Along the way, the introspective and intuitive Adamsberg helps deliver kittens, receives surprising news about his past, and learns to appreciate Serbian cuisine. As with her five previous mysteries, Vargas here explores humanity's devilish side, mixing bizarre, surreal crimes and a creepy atmosphere with well-drawn, idiosyncratic characters and lots of humor. How can you resist a crime squad that keeps a stash of wine in the office? VERDICT A nice Gallic counterpart to Christopher Fowler's very English "Peculiar Crimes Unit" series, which also hints at the supernatural and stars eccentric sleuths. Readers should suspend their disbelief at Vargas's dizzying array of plot twists and coincidences and just enjoy the roller-coaster ride. Great fun!—Wilda Williams, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
A brilliant Parisian sleuth untangles a grisly English crime with links to a French murder. Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg (The Night's Foul Work, 2008, etc.) is in London for a law-enforcement conference, an entirely satisfying adventure, even if he's accompanied by his awkward, overexcited deputy Danglard, an underling who tries to be helpful by translating for his boss, who doesn't really need it. By happenstance, the French duo is with their British counterpart, DCI Radstock, when the British detective is approached by elderly Lord Clyde-Fox, who insists they accompany him posthaste to Highgate Cemetery. Though Radstock patronizingly describes Clyde-Fox as an "eccentric," this time the nobleman is on the mark: He's found a row of shoes with the dismembered feet still inside them. Adamsberg is naturally intrigued. Despite the intrusion of other cases, he carries his interest back to Paris. In fact, both Adamsberg and Danglard look into the checkered history of Highgate Cemetery, soon focusing on the murder of elderly former journalist Pierre Vaudel. The man reportedly had no enemies, but his will tells another story, creating suspects within the family. The reappearance of Clyde-Fox revives interest in the grisly case, which has surprising links to the Vaudel murder. Vampires, the Great War and longstanding family feuds also figure prominently. The death of a beloved cat and a personnal shakeup in the police department add background texture. Adamsberg's seventh outing bubbles entertainingly along via the chemistry of its recurring cast and the author's knack for creating colorful minor characters.
From the Publisher
"One of today's few truly original writers of crime fiction: disturbing, unruly, droll and poetic."
—Marcel Berlins, The Times
 
"An Uncertain Place is full of wit and invention, with a plot that satisfies both intellect and emotion."
—Annabella Bankhouse, Times Literary Supplement
 
"As ever, Vargas's characters inhabit a world where reason and myth collide, and the result is a thrilling read."
—Joan Smith, Sunday Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143120049
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/25/2011
Series:
Commissaire Adamsberg Series , #6
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
418,222
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Fred Vargas, historian and archaeologist, is a number-one bestselling author in France, Germany and Italy. She is the author of eight novels featuring Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, and has won the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger Award three out of the last five years.

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