I really like the Bruno, Chief of Police series. Bruno, the late 30s, single chief of police (and only policeman) in small town French countryside believes in food, community, restorative justice and family. In the previous nine books, we have seen him fall in and out of love, solve a number of crimes, stop a few international incidents and contribute to the building of a local community.
In The Templars’ Last Secret, Bruno is being followed by a researcher in the Department of Justice to find out why he is such a successful policeman. She says at one point, ‘you are as much a social worker as a police officer.’ That is both true and the secret to his success. He sees people as part of systems and those systems can be encouraged toward health or they can be starved of humanity.
My complaint of the last several books has been that the broader story of the series hasn’t moved anywhere. I am not sure that this book really has changed that assessment much. But there is a hint at the end that some progress may be made in the next book.
There is still a problem in The Templars’ Last Secret about the story being too big. This one again includes terrorists. It is more nuanced than some of the previous terrorism stories in earlier Bruno books. But the faceless Muslims are still the bad guys. This time it is the history of the Templars that is the history element to the book. I was concerned that it was going to be reduced to a bad Dan Brown storyline. But it stayed away from that for the most part.
The Templars’ Last Secret is not my favorite of the Bruno series, but it is an improvement over the past couple books. Now just to wait for another year until the next book in the series comes out.