French police face down jihadis in Dordogne.
Ever since his retirement from maintaining world order as a U.N. peacekeeper in Sarajevo, Benoît "Bruno" Courreges has served as chief of police in the sleepy rural village where he divides his time between solving routine crimes and making soup from the zucchini, peppers and cucumbers he grows in his garden. But the mutilated corpse found outside St. Denis shocks even a seasoned soldier like Bruno (The Crowded Grave, 2012, etc.). And the murder of Rafiq, an undercover cop, is only the tip of the iceberg. The terrorists who killed him were looking for information that would lead them to Sami Belloumi, an autistic savant who disappeared from a school for special needs students in Toulouse. Sami’s on his way back from Afghanistan, where Taliban forces have been capitalizing on his preternatural mechanical skills. But his emaciated frame and the scars on his back suggest that his work building improvised explosive devices may not have been voluntary. With the French, British and American press howling for Sami’s hide, Bruno wants to shield the gentle, confused youth and thinks he may have an ally in Pascal Deutz, the psychiatrist sent to debrief him. The U.S. State Department sends its own debriefer: Nancy Sutton, who both charms and terrifies Bruno. Into this heady mix comes Maya Halévy, a rich Israeli widow looking for the Périgord farm that sheltered her and her brother, David, during the war, for a recipe as volatile as Bruno’s pot-au-feu.
Former journalist Walker’s seventh Bruno entry is as prescient as it is terrifying.