This is the 3rd book that I read by this author. This book is part of the Commissaire Adamsberg series and, as do the others, offers fascinating and original characters and plot. They are set in and around Paris, although this book makes a side trip to Quebec. Vargas writes truly unique and spellbinding books. I have not been able to read the Adamsberg series in order, but I suggest that you do. The Chalk Circle is the first. Five stars and highly recommended.
Takes place in Paris, France for the most part & some action in Canada. First book I've read by this author & I thought it was terrific. Intricate plotting, well developed characters. Highly recommended.
I've enjoyed the other three books I've read in this series, but I always felt that Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg was maintaining a distance between us. With Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand, this distance vanished, and I am well and truly hooked. Vargas excels in mixing various styles, and she continues to do so here. There's a light comic touch throughout the book combined with much darker themes. What's new to the mix is the fact that her main character has to look deep inside himself during this case, and this adds just the right amount of psychology to the book.
There is something about a story in which the hero knows himself to be right yet still finds himself fighting against tremendous odds. How is he going to succeed? Where is he going to find trustworthy people to help him? The killer he's been following for so long is highly intelligent and quite adept at covering his tracks. Adamsberg has to change his methods in order to bring him to justice, and changing those methods is not easy.
His help comes from some very unlikely sources: "These last few days, my life has been in the hands of magical women. They've been tossing me from one to another, and every time they save me from falling into the abyss." A large part of the joy in reading this book is becoming acquainted with these magical women, and I refuse to tell you about them because you need to discover them for yourselves.
Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand is one of those wonderful instances in which plot, character, and writing combine in a story that grabs hold and doesn't let go. It's one of my best reads this year and makes me wonder why I've fallen behind in reading Fred Vargas's books.