Review: A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker [5/10]

The 13th book in Walker’s acclaimed Bruno Chief of Police  series, set in the Périgord/Dordogne northernmost region of France, is a baffling reading experience. “A Taste for Vengeance”  sees Bruno learning to manage his recent promotion to Chief Inspector while dealing with a gruesome double murder/suicide and teaching cooking in a friend’s class. It’s a mix of realistic police procedures and homely relationships that should have kept me well interested, and indeed so many aspects of this complex novel intrigue. The author is a smooth, adept stylist and the local setting and gourmand milieu are satisfying. But here’s the thing: the diabolically intricate “solve the crime” plot revolves around a multitude of police personnel from three countries working together to unravel suspects, all of whom are off stage. Not until towards the end does Chief Inspector Bruno confront evil face to face; this, I’m sorry to say, blunted the narrative force of what is otherwise an accomplished novel.

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