The Templars' Last Secret : A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel
by Martin Walker

Overview - Bruno, the beloved chief of police in the idyllic French town of St. Denis, is back This time a mysterious death brings ancient secrets to light, and it's up to our hero--and favorite gourmand--to connect the tangled threads of past and present

When a woman's body is found at the foot of a cliff near St.  Read more...

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More About The Templars' Last Secret by Martin Walker
Bruno, the beloved chief of police in the idyllic French town of St. Denis, is back This time a mysterious death brings ancient secrets to light, and it's up to our hero--and favorite gourmand--to connect the tangled threads of past and present

When a woman's body is found at the foot of a cliff near St. Denis, Bruno suspects a connection to the great ruin that stands on the cliff above: the Ch teau de Commarque, a long-ago Knights Templar stronghold which, along with the labyrinth of prehistoric caves beneath it, continues to draw the interest of scholars. With the help of Am lie, a young newcomer to the Dordogne, Bruno learns that the dead woman was an archaeologist searching for a religious artifact of incredible importance, the discovery of which could have dramatic repercussions throughout the Middle East--not to mention in St. Denis. And the woman's ties to Islamic terrorists can only heighten the pressure on Bruno to unravel the centuries-old mystery. Meanwhile, an old flame of Bruno's is assigned to work with him on the case, and the two find time, naturellement, to enjoy the supreme pleasures of the wine, food, and beauty of the Dordogne.

  • ISBN-13: 9781101946800
  • ISBN-10: 1101946806
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: June 2017
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Series: Bruno #1

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - Cozy - General
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense
Books > Fiction > Crime

BookPage Reviews

Whodunit: A plucky French detective in the middle of a holy war

Of all the police inspectors in all the precincts around the world, Bruno, chief of police of tiny St. Denis, France, is the one I would most like to hang out with. He is quite the gourmet cook, an avid horseman, a born mediator and something of a historian in matters pertaining to France. In his latest adventure, The Templars’ Last Secret, a newly discovered cave, last used during the Crusades, promises to offer enlightenment on matters both spiritual and temporal. This discovery has not gone unnoticed by warring factions in the Middle East, each looking for evidence to support their historical claims to the Holy Land. It’s not often that a village police chief must match wits with Israel’s Mossad as well as splinter groups of radical Islamic terrorists. Still, Bruno takes it in stride—as he does everything, with a mixture of bumbling and panache, scarcely missing a beat. Martin Walker includes more violence here than is customary in his Bruno novels, and it remains unclear until the final pages which characters will remain standing after the smoke from the gunfire blows away.

Denise Mina’s standalone thriller The Long Drop has a ripped-from-the-headlines feel. This slightly fictionalized look at a true crime follows the deeds, arrest and prosecution of Peter Manuel, Scotland’s most notorious serial killer. The narrative centers on a peculiar interaction between Manuel and William Watt—a man suspected in the murder of his wife, their young daughter and his wife’s sister. Watt loudly, although not always believably, maintains his innocence; the police, for their part, are sure Watt was guilty but can never obtain definitive evidence. Watt becomes convinced that Manuel is the killer and decides to take matters into his own hands. Through a mutual acquaintance, Watt sets up a meeting with Manuel, and they embark on an all-night bender. The tenor of their conversation can only be imagined, but Mina imagines it persuasively and calls into question whether Watt may have been complicit in the murders for which he was long suspected.

Even the most jaded suspense fan would scarcely expect evidence of a mysterious killing to be dug up by feral hogs, but that is precisely what transpires in the opening pages of Paul Doiron’s Knife Creek. The plot thickens when this forensic evidence(the recently buried remains of a newborn) coupled with a familiar redhead in a ramshackle cabin nearby, suggests a link between the infant and a young woman who disappeared several years earlier after a group rafting trip. Two lawmen are on the case: Mike Bowditch, the game warden who found the remains and made the visual ID of the missing-and-presumed-dead girl spotted in the cabin, and retired police detective Tony Menario, who worked the missing persons case. But here’s the catch: The time frame for a missing person to be declared dead is about to be met, and Menario is confident that he is in possession of sufficient circumstantial evidence to put his suspect behind bars, but only if a murder has indeed been committed. If, as Mike believes, there is evidence to suggest that the once abducted girl may still be alive, then Menario’s suspect is free to enact more violence. The tension between the two investigators is palpable, with each convinced of the ultimate rightness of his surmise, and of course the two scenarios are mutually exclusive—only one can be right.

Semiretired police officer Hanne Wilhelmsen conducts her investigations from the confinement of a wheelchair, a computer monitor her primary window to the world. Although her body has been sidelined by a bullet to the spinal column, her mind is as sharp as ever in her ninth adventure, Odd Numbers. Hanne’s caseload is varied this time: a critical new look at the 1996 disappearance of a teenage girl and a series of crimes after the fact, plus a present-day bombing at the Oslo office of the Islamic Cooperation Council. In the midst of all this, the army reports that a quantity of C4 has gone missing from their stockpile. And as the celebration of the Norwegian constitution draws closer, suspicions increase that the AWOL C4 will make an unwanted reappearance in conjunction with that event. As is always the case with Anne Holt’s books, the plotting is well-paced, the characters and their interactions are in every way plausible, and the story is very much of the moment.

This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews