A Shooting at Chateau Rock (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel) by Martin Walker
|A Shooting at Chateau Rock (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel) by Martin Walker|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's the 13th book in the series but it still makes for a good read. This time Bruno is looking at an insurance fraud which has international repercussions. If you can't get away on holiday this summer this could be a small substitute.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: May 2020|
|External links: Author's website|
It was a couple of days after old Driant's funeral that Bruno Courrèges got an angry phone call from his son. Gaston's father had sold the family farm in order to buy an insurance policy which he had used to secure a life of luxury at an expensive retirement home near Sarlat, owned by a Russian oligarch. Before he even got to go there he died, apparently of a heart attack, and the retirement home collected the proceeds of the policy and Gaston and Claudette Driant were left with just the contents of the farmhouse. The family hadn't exactly fallen out, but Gaston lived some way away and Claudette had fallen out of favour when she announced that she was gay, but they weren't expecting to be almost completely disinherited.
On the face of it, the transactions seemed to be above board but to Bruno, the sums didn't add up. The idea was that when the policyholder died the proceeds would be used to pay for the costs of his care, but Driant might have lived for another five to ten years and the debt accrued wouldn't be covered by the policy. On the other hand, if death occurred fairly quickly the residential home would be quids in. The death certificate stated that Driant had died of a heart attack, but heart failure could have been brought on if Driant had been given viagra and cocaine - and Bruno found evidence that this had happened.
Meanwhile, at another chateau, legendary rocker Rod Macrae and his young wife Meghan are going to divorce and Chateau Rock will be sold to fund new properties and lives for them both. It's not going to happen until the autumn, though and their children, Kirsty and Jamie are returning for one last summer at the chateau. Jamie's brought his Russian girlfriend with him and everything gets more complicated when Bruno realises that her father is the oligarch who owns the retirement home near Sarlat.
The story is raised above the level of cosy crime by a strong, but sensitively-handled storyline about the neglect of farm animals and some interesting thoughts on how climate change is affecting wines and viniculture. I came away feeling that I'd been educated but that it had been done with a very light touch. It's all done in the context of a well-constructed plot.
I want Bruno to settle down and have the family he so longs for, but his heart is still in thrall to Isabelle the security chief who lives and works in Paris. He wants a strong, ambitious woman - but they don't want to settle down in Perigord. And if he lived ion a flat in Paris, how would Balzac, his dog manage? What about Hector, his horse? And the chickens? Bruno's a countryman and he's not going to move. Besides, Balzac is about to become a father...
Regular readers of the series will know many of the characters who appear in the book. You could read A Shooting at Chateau Rock as a standalone, but you would get more out of it if you'd read at least one or two of the earlier books in the series and it's really no hardship Every one is a culinary adventure through Perigord and your mouth will water, I promise you. I'd like to thank the publishers for allowing Bookbag to have a review copy.
If you would like to start the series at the beginning, we have a list of the books in order.
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