arly in The Ghost Riders of Ordebec
, Fred Vargas takes her odd, intuitive protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, to Normandy, where he comes up against a police captain almost as unconventional as he is. Neither, for example, can stand being cooped up too long; both, apparently, like to chew over cases while on long walks, not a conventional police technique, at least in fiction.
The Ghosts Riders of Ordebec
is Vargas' seventh Adamsberg novel, and her clever turn on small-town cop who resents his opposite number from the big city (Adamsberg is based in Paris) is one way to keep a longish series fresh. How do your favorite long-series crime writers manage that trick?
he ghosts of the title refer the avenging marauders of a thousand-year-old Ordebec legend and, in the opening pages, Vargas integrates the weirdness seamlessly into the story. I'm no reader of fantasy, but Vargas' world is one that very closely resembles our own, except that beliefs, tales, even professions, from the Middle Ages fit in perfectly. (No accident there; Vargas is a historian and archaeologist specializing in the Middle Ages when she's not writing crime novels.)
(Read the Detectives Beyond Borders interview with Fred Vargas. Read an interview from earlier in Vargas' career that offers insight into her political involvement. Read a two-part Detectives Beyond Borders interview with Vargas' versatile, award-winning translator, Sian Reynolds.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2013
Labels: France, Fred Vargas, Sian Reynolds, The Ghost Riders of Ordebec