Summary: A scandalous death and the threat of devil worship shake up the quiet village of St Denis.
Maybe it is hard to call St Denis quiet at this point. It is a small French village of about 3000 people. But in roughly a year it has had several murders, an international summit, two arsons, and a human trafficking smuggling organization busted. Not bad for a country police officer.
This book is a bit different. The book opens with a naked woman’s dead body floating down the river in a small boat. There are signs that she has participated in a Black Mass meant to call to Satan to get him to do their bidding. This is based on the real black mass that was performed for Madame de Montespan in order to create a love potion to force King Louis XIV to love her.
As can be expected, nothing is as simple as it seems. There is international arms deals, porn movies, murder, prostitution and other crimes. The real mystery of the story is about the identification of the characters more than anything else. Once everyone gets identified, then the rest of the mystery is fairly easy to solve.
As with some other series books, there is beginning to be a ‘red shirt’ problem in the series. As is joked about in Star Trek, there always had to be a ‘red shirt’ character that was a part of the away teams so that someone could be hurt or killed without harming the main set of characters. And in this series, new characters seem to be introduced primarily to be either victims, criminals or red herrings.
But as I keep saying, the real stars of the series is the community and the food and the ambience. Not perfect, but a still enjoyable read.