An inveterate traveler back in Argelès must team up with her ex when she’s confronted with the body of a local priest who’s also an old friend.
Tech writer Annie Young is an adventurer at heart. The multilingual traveler is excited to return to her small apartment in southern France, which she affectionately calls “the nest,” and to the small town that represents her sometime home. She’s especially anxious to catch up with her longtime friend Père Yeves, who’s written her about recent discoveries in the neighboring town of Rennes-le-Château. Instead of getting to share Père Yeves’ excitement over what he’s found, Annie is greeted by his lifeless body outside the church where he’d worked for so long. Certain her old friend has met with foul play, Annie goes for official reinforcements, but when she returns to the scene, the body is mysteriously gone. She vows to investigate in spite of the fact that it brings her into constant contact with her recent ex-boyfriend, Police Chief Roger Perrin. Roger wishes things weren’t over with Annie in spite of the fact that her constant traveling drove a wedge between them. But footloose Annie can’t shake her identity as a third-culture kid, one who moved through different cultures seamlessly but called no one culture her own.
Armed with a story line that circles around but never meets a solid plot, Nelson’s latest (Murder in Caleb’s Landing, 2010, etc.) mystifyingly spends more time discussing Annie’s bathroom habits than creating likable characters.