21 March 2017

Today's Read: A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas

Imagine a series of murders with at least two tenuous connections, how would you go about deciding which avenue to pursue? Paris Commissioner of Police Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, relies on his instincts, much to the chagrin of his detective team.

Only another twenty metres, twenty little metres to reach the postbox, it was harder than she had expected. That's ridiculous, she told herself, there aren't little metres and big metres. There are just metres, that's all. How curious that at death's door, even from that privileged position, you should go on having such futile thoughts, when anyone might think you would come up with some important pronouncement, one that would be branded with red-hot iron in the annals of human wisdom. A pronouncement that people would repeat now and then in days to come: 'Do you know what Alice Gauthier's last words were?'
A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas (Penguin Books, 2017, p. 1 [originally published in French, 2015])

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times; Paris and surrounds and remote Iceland
  • Circumstances and why I want to read this novel: Although this is the 8th Commissioner Adamsberg book, it will be my first experience with the series, which is translated from the French. What caught my eye is that protagonist, commissioner of police in Paris, travels to rural Iceland, which provides a link between two murders that took place in France. A complicating element is another thread that ties several murders to a historical reenactment group that focuses on The Reign of Terror. I'm curious about the investigation in Iceland, which leads the police team down a dark path of local folklore and demon beasts.
  • Genre: police procedural, murder mystery
  • Other elements: Icelandic folklore, French history, quirky characters, good plotting
  • Thoughts gathered from reviews: Adamsberg's team includes a diverse cast with a range of unique personalities (though I'm not sure if they are diverse in gender or ethnicity). Most reviewers liked the Icelandic folk belief aspects and mentioned that the plot keeps you invested. In addition, a couple of reviews specifically noted that readers need not read the previous books to enjoy this one. At least one reviewer thought Climate of Fear is not Vargas's strongest installment in the series. 
  • About the author: Fred Vargas, a Paris native, has won several International Crime Writers' awards and is also a professional historian and archaeologist.


Fence 3/21/17, 6:34 AM  

I haven't read this one yet, but I have read others in the series and am a big Adamsberg fan. He has such a meandering mind.

Anonymous,  3/21/17, 7:44 AM  

My goodness - what an odd writing style. I suspect it is a Marmite experience - you either love it or loathe it. How are you getting on with it? My TT this week - https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/teaser-tuesday-21st-march-2016/

bermudaonion 3/21/17, 7:55 AM  

This sounds unique! I like the Paris setting.

Unknown 3/21/17, 8:17 AM  

Sounds like it could be interesting. If I didn't get too lost in the wandering prose!

Mine this week is from a Michael Connelly Harry Bosch police procedural: https://wp.me/p3Nz8P-1fv

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 3/21/17, 9:14 AM  

Sounds like an interesting series. I want to know more.

Literary Feline 3/21/17, 11:20 AM  

This sounds like one I would really like. I like the opening you shared. I can't help but wonder what will happen next! And yes, I sometimes have wondered at the reality of movies and television making last words or thoughts out to be something grand and reflective. I imagine I would be more like Alice, sad as that may sound.

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/21/17, 11:23 AM  

I love the sound of the settings and the personal touch the commissioner brings to the case.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Emma Litttlefield 3/21/17, 12:10 PM  

I like this intro and the description of the book - I would definitely keep reading!

Laura 3/21/17, 12:20 PM  

Sounds interesting. My Teaser is from a light mystery, Southern Fried by Tanya Kappes.

Sandra Nachlinger 3/21/17, 12:43 PM  

This book appeals to me, especially since I'll be traveling to Iceland in June. It would be fun to read a book that's set there.
Thanks for your comment on my post about The Boys in the Boat.

Margot 3/21/17, 5:14 PM  

I want to read this one too. I like the Paris setting and, for me, I like the fact that it was first written in French.

Unknown 3/21/17, 5:31 PM  

I love mysteries and quirky characters so I would keep reading. I may actually go back and take a look at the first book in the series on Amazon. Thank you for sharing it and have a great week!
Laura :)
My FPFC Tuesday

Yvonne 3/21/17, 6:48 PM  

I've heard alot about this one. It sounds really good.

Alice Audrey 3/21/17, 7:25 PM  

Thinking of little vs big meters is still more profound than an endless series of "ouch, ouch, my God I'm dying!"

Anonymous,  3/21/17, 7:59 PM  

I don't know this author but I do love a mystery. I hope you're enjoying it. Here's the link to my intro/teaser for today: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-1w6

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 3/21/17, 8:15 PM  

I think I might like this one if the author doesn't use the word "metre" again LOL

What's Beyond Forks? 3/21/17, 11:06 PM  

This sounds different.. hmm... it has me curious. Thank you for sharing! :-) My Teaser Tuesday is The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Daryl 3/27/17, 9:57 AM  

interesting but not my cuppa .. thanks nonetheless

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