From the oyster farms of Port Belon, Commissaire Georges Dupin (The Missing Corpse, 2019, etc.) pushes north to probe the mysterious deaths of two women near the bay of Douarnenez.
Douarnenez is a fishing town where small family-owned boats jockey with large trawlers, all competing to wrest a living from the unpredictable Atlantic. Céline Kerkrom was a line fisher, one of the few women to own her own boat. She lived alone and kept to herself. So why would someone slit her throat and dump her body in a container of fish guts in the harbor’s auction hall? Harbormistress Gaétane Gochat is appalled, not so much by the violence of the murder as by the disruption it causes to the fish hall. Dupin, on the other hand, doesn’t mind rattling a few cages along the way to finding Céline’s murderer. He confronts Charles Morin, owner of a large fleet of deep-sea trawlers as well as some coastal boats, who’s rumored to take in more than the legal limit. He also chases down a local character known as Captain Vaillant, who’s reputed to be a pirate. But more murders lead Dupin and inspectors Riwal and Kadeg to wonder if the origin of the crime really is local, since the second victim, Laetitia Darot, was an outsider, a researcher who studied the dolphins in the Parc Iroise. As usual, Dupin’s drive to catch the killer quickly is balanced by his desire to enjoy the local cafes and the breathtaking Breton coast just a little bit longer. And as usual, justice triumphs.
More of Bannalec’s winning formula: a healthy chunk of Brittany with a bracing dash of murder.