Capitaine Roger Blanc is the ideal obsessive investigator, formerly with the Parisian anti-corruption unit. Perhaps a bit too obsessive as after a successful case against personages in high places he finds himself reallocated to Sainte-Françoise-la-Vallée, a hamlet in Provence 500 miles south of Paris.
At the same time his marriage collapses. Blanc is forced into making a fresh start. Fortunately he owns a 200 year old dilapidated house that he'd virtually forgotten he'd inherited and had for some unknown reason kept on paying the taxes.
His welcoming investigation was that of the body of a man deliberately torched. By all accounts Moréas had been a very nasty person; a belligerent bully who terrorized his neighbours and anyone else who crossed his path, a thief and murderer. A man no-one mourned when he met his grisly ending.
Blanc can't help but sniff out corruption, can't help wanting to find the real culprit of Moréas' murder, not just the convenient person his upright, regulation ridden Commandant wants to hang the murder on.
Blanc's partners in his new position are nicely underplayed and as the story progresses we see them develop more fully, just as Blanc does.
The translation from German to English by Peter Millar has the story flowing without a language hitch.
This is the first in the series. I look forward to future developments in the life of Roger Blanc.
A NetGalley ARC