This case history from the files of the Grande Maison (the Surete Nationale) details the author's three-year manhunt after ""the most merciless killer in postwar France."" Borniche, a young, ambitious CID Inspector, was assigned in 1948 to find Emile Buisson, a.k.a. Monsieur Emile, serving a life sentence for armed robbery and murder--until his breakout. At large, the elusive Emile moves from one hideout to another in and around Paris as he continues to gain underworld fame and #1 status on the most-wanted list by pulling off a number of well-executed heists. Borniche, a cerebral cop with his heart in show biz, considers himself ""a hunter who operates without gun or handcuffs""--he hopes to land a promotion and a new stove for his girl with the capture. The pursuit is deliberate and involved--the nitty-gritty of French police work (surveillance, stakeouts, sessions with stoolies) is time-consuming enough. . . and then there's the matter of the Surete's unchecked rivalry with both the Gendarmerie and the Paris Prefecture. Borniche ends up utilizing the services of an informer in order to finally nab his man in a peaceful country auberge. A Chief Inspector thereafter, he becomes ""attached"" to his prisoner before he's guillotined a few years later. Accurate and orderly enough for the criminologist-at-heart--this flic won't get any flack.