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The Children Return: A Mystery of the French Countryside (Bruno, Chief of…

de Martin Walker

Sèrie: Bruno Courrèges (7)

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2471881,107 (3.96)26
Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before. But Bruno's sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn't see this investigation as a priority - there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. Meanwhile, a Muslim youth named Sami turns up at a French army base in Afghanistan hoping to get home to St Denis. One of Bruno's old army comrades helps to smuggle Sami back to France, but the FBI aren't far behind. Then an American woman appears in St Denis with a warrant for Sami's extradition. Bruno must unravel these multiple mysteries, amidst pressure from his bosses, and find his own way to protect his town and its people.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This 7th book in the series is more of a thriller than a mystery. Walker does a good job of showing the complexities involved in dealing with the Muslim citizens of France while investigating a possible Taliban terrorist. Sami, an autistic young man with a flair for electronics and a tragic background, returns emaciated, scarred and ill to St. Denis from Afganistan with Bruno's help. Was he a willing recruit or was he coerced? How did he come to be in Afganistan when he was supposed to be in a special mosque school in France? I didn't care for the way Walker resolved this plot, partly because I was sad at Sami's death but mostly because it felt like a "cheat". The problem of what would become of Sami & his family was a difficult one and by killing off Sami, Walker sidestepped that complexity with a simple, though tragic, solution.

While the above story was the main plot, the book also had an interesting subplot (which I actually liked better) about 2 Jewish children who had been hidden in St. Denis during WW2 by a Protestant couple. The husband was a WW1 veteran who was gueule cassée ('broken face', one of the wounded who had severe facial injuries). ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 12, 2020 |
Saint-Denis im Périgord ist ein Sehnsuchtsort für viele. Auch für einige, die hier aufgewachsen sind. Doch als ein autistischer Junge aus Saint-Denis auf einer französischen Armeebasis in Afghanistan auftaucht und nach Hause möchte, ist unklar, ob als Freund oder Feind. Dies herauszufinden ist die dringende Aufgabe für Bruno, ›Chef de police‹, ehe sich verschiedene Provokateure einmischen und alle in tödliche Gefahr bringen können.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
I have enjoyed these Bruno mysteries. But I'm getting tired of all the military battles. They start out like a cozy, small town, lovely characters, great descriptions of place and food. An unambitious policeman who loves his village. I would like to visit for a bit. Then all hell breaks loose. Any romantic interest of Bruno's should beware. They get shot, fall off horses, get injured in battle. Too bad. He so wants a family. I'll have to put some space between these if I'm to continue the series. The original title was Children of War. ( )
  njcur | Dec 23, 2019 |
There's terrorist activity in Bruno’s area - the torture and death of agent who was following up the return of autistic Sami who had been abducted at a Toulouse mosque and made to build bombs.
There's also the visit by an elderly Jewish woman who was sheltered in the area along with her older brother during WWII, and who wishes to bestow a grant to St. Denis.

While the essence of this series remains the beautiful French countryside, the wine, the food, and the disappearing way of life ("Bruno felt that something of traditional France had died when a sandwich ceased to mean a baguette stuffed with ham and cheese and became sliced bread with some dubious filling, sold in triangles of plastic wrapping"), Walker deals with some tough social and political issues.

The Return of the Children tackles the very current and rapidly growing matter of Muslims who have immigrated to France in recent years.

"There were six million Muslims in France, nearly a tenth of the population, and an even greater proportion among those under the age of twenty. Without assimilation and a more tolerant, less defensive Islam, France faced a difficult future."

An excellent entry in this series, and I look forward to the next one. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Aug 14, 2019 |
Another good Bruno chapter. ( )
  yhgail | Feb 20, 2019 |
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Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before. But Bruno's sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn't see this investigation as a priority - there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. Meanwhile, a Muslim youth named Sami turns up at a French army base in Afghanistan hoping to get home to St Denis. One of Bruno's old army comrades helps to smuggle Sami back to France, but the FBI aren't far behind. Then an American woman appears in St Denis with a warrant for Sami's extradition. Bruno must unravel these multiple mysteries, amidst pressure from his bosses, and find his own way to protect his town and its people.

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