Forty months of police work went into unraveling the mystery surrounding the brutal murder of a family of three English tourists who perished while camping out on a remote farm in Provence in 1952. From the beginning the evidence -- what there was of it -- pointed at the Dominicis, the solid, taciturn peasants who owned Grand'terre. But why? and who? Gaston, the 75-year-old patriarch? Gustave, his morose and none too bright son? Clovis, the son who fell on his knees when confronted by the murder weapon? Laborde reconstructs the baffling crime from the moment the corpses were discovered to the trial and conviction of the killer. Slowly, stealthily, with many false starts, the French police circled in. Tracing the circuitous and sometimes botched investigation from autopsy to interrogation to courtroom melodrama, Laborde sucks the reader into the intricate details of police work and into the lives of the stubborn, crafty peasants whose laconic story of the murder night slowly crumbled away. . .ending in violent outbursts of mutual accusations and recriminations. Laborde does go on at length, but somehow the case itself manages to sustain the reader's interest as the Dominici clan pits its tenacity and endurance against that of the infinitely patient gendarmes.