The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker

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The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The tenth book in the Bruno Courreges series looks at the Templars and strays into middle-eastern politics. A decent read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400/9h37m Date: June 2017
Publisher: Quercus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1784294656

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The body of a woman was found beneath the ruined Templar chateau of Commarque, but what had she been doing there? She'd apparently been climbing the structure, but using some cheap and unsuitable rope. Sprayed on the wall in orange paint were the letter IFTI. Had she been intending to write more when she fell, but if so, where was the paint - and the rope? Her neck had been broken, but was this an accidental fall when doing something stupid, or had she been pushed? She carried no identification and her fingerprints weren't known to the French police or Interpol.

The 11th century Chateau was entrusted to the Knights Templar, and although the chateau was built on rock those rocks are riddled with caves. So far it had never been suggested that it might be where the Templars' fabled treasure was hidden, but all that changed when a local journalist published a sensational story based on the woman's death and the centuries old mystery of exactly what happened to the Knights Templar's treasure ignited yet again. When an academic with expertise on the Templars was found tortured, Bruno Courreges had to race to find the perpetrators.

So far, so standard Templar thriller story. We could all name half a dozen, but this story has an elegant twist. There, on Bruno's patch, deep in the heart of the Dordogne, are some men with middle-eastern connections who don't ask politely when they want something and if you get in their way you tend to be facing the business end of a gun. But what, exactly is their target? Could it be the pre-historic caves at Lascaux? Their associates could well have been responsible for the destruction at Palmyra, so conscience isn't going to get in their way. Could it be one of the museums, normally flooded with tourists?

At a pinch you could read this book as a standalone, but you will get a lot more out of it if you've read at least some of the earlier books in the series. Most of the usual characters appear and you get a rough idea of who they are, but you won't really grasp all the nuances of previous relationships, because much as Bruno would love to settle down and start his own family he only seems to fall for women who don't want to settle down or don't want a family. For now his family is his dog Balzac and Hector, his horse. He's an engaging man, though perhaps a little short on faults, but brave and dependable when push comes to shove.

The plot's interesting, with bags of asides about the pre-historic interest in the region, which I found fascinating. The Bruno, Chief of Police books have helped to increase tourism in the Perigord region of France by 30% and after reading The Templars' Last Secret I'll confess that I was sorely tempted. The other temptation in the book is the food which is cooked: it's mouth watering and I've had dreams about the salmon dish!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

There are no explicit spoilers for earlier books in the series, but you will find out who gets shot and survives and one or two other minor points. If you do want to read the books in chronological order you'll find the list here. It's also useful as some of the books have been retitled since publication.

Martin Walker's Commissar Bruno Courreges Mysteries in Chronological Order

Buy The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker at Amazon You could get a free audio download of The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Templars' Last Secret: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker at Amazon.com.


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