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A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas

A Climate of Fear

by Fred Vargas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Adamsberg (8)

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English (7)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Adamsberg il riequilibratore

Finalmente... quanto mi sei mancata! Uno stile personalissimo, una squadra Anticrimine formata da elementi umani così particolari che di più non si poteva, un commissario con lo sguardo perso che è la disperazione dei suoi uomini. Può mai esistere una squadra investigativa come questa? Di contro le storie nelle quali si impegola Adamsberg sono trattate con la minuziosità delle indagini storiche. E nella storia affondano quasi sempre. L'associazione che rievoca il periodo di Robespierre, del Terrore e alcuni suicidi. Qual è il legame? Si potrebbe star lì ad archiviare le morti per quello che sembrano, ma non per Adamsberg, no. Quel prurito fastidioso che tormenta l'amico Lucio a quel braccio che non ha più, tormenta anche Jean-Baptiste. Tutto deve tornare in ordine, anche se alle indagini non importa granché di morti sepolti, ma quel prurito... quel prurito porta Adamsberg fino in Islanda, a spese sue (come tiene a sottolineare) purché le tessere si incastrino a chiarire il disegno finale. Se non mi fossi data una rigida disciplina l'avrei terminato in un giorno, e non per conoscere l'assassino, ma per il fascino dei dettagli e la sapienza nel trascinarti nel gorgo della Storia con la "S", fra popoli di territori a latitudini dimenticate e, costante delle costanti dei suoi libri, negli abissi oscuri della mente e del cuore degli uomini.
  Magrathea | Dec 30, 2017 |
I was at Powells the other day discussing great mystery writers with one of their employees who recommended Pierre Lemaitre. I checked, I have Camille in my queue to read soon. Since I was in the middle of A Climate of Fear, I urged her to check out Fred Vargas’s mystery series, though I warned her they are surreal. Now that I have finished A Climate of Fear, I am assured that they remain surreal, a strange blend of comic and noir with absolutely no procedural discipline.

This time it is not Commissaire Adamsberg sniffing out a mystery no one else perceives. The nose goes to another commissaire in another arrondissement who suspected a suicide was really a murder and a concerned citizen mailing a letter she picked up off the street that sparked his interest, but once Adamsberg was on the scent, he was not stopping. He soon discovered that there were other victims, also killed in ways that suggested suicide or accident and that the victims were connected in multiple ways.

Some ten years ago, two travelers died on a trip to Iceland. The official story is they froze to death, but Adamsberg suspects there is more to the mystery than that. At least two of the recent victims were on that trip. Could someone be killing the survivors? Nonetheless the statute of limitations has run out on those deaths, if they are murders. A more contemporary connection is discovered, they also attended the Association for the Study of the Writings of Maximilien Robespierre, a historical reenactment society. Iceland gives him a suspect list of nine, seven unknown. The Robespierre Society gives him a suspect list of seven hundred, also anonymous, but at least he can go see them in historical costume.

I enjoyed this most recent Adamsberg mystery more than the last two. In The Ghost Riders of Ordebec they seemed incredibly obtuse. I knew who the murderer was far too early and was incredibly frustrated that the usually intuitive Adamsberg was dense as a stone. Adamsberg’s uncanny intuition that allows him to make connections is back.

Nonetheless, the series is showing some signs of age with the repetition of quirks from past stories, the dangerous step in the station, the cat, the neighbor pissing on a tree, and the many individual quirks of the officers. This is a common failing of series authors. It feels as though they have an index card for each character with some defining characteristics and when that character pops up in the story, those tics are mentioned more or less verbatim. The problem is that people grow and change. More importantly, their colleagues habituate to their quirks, so when it is noted with equal importance in every book, it’s false. By book eight, Adamsberg will not be noting the same things about people as he did in the first. This is a small thing and Vargas is not alone–nearly every series author does this. Perhaps readers like the familiarity and I am just a weirdo who wants to see secondary characters grow and flourish.

Vargas did allow some character growth. I appreciated that Danglard stepped more outside his encyclopedic box, resisting Adamsberg and getting a small taste for power. Sadly, this was not a wise choice and I am afraid he might be back in the box in the future. Danglard is very much a useful character in that he knows everything. He is not in the least likely, but I don’t care. The point of Danglard and many of the other characters is they are representative of different ways of thinking. There are the disciplined proceduralists, the information gleaners, the talkers, the auditory, the visual, and the intuitive. Their success comes from the best use of their many ways of thinking.

As a mystery, A Climate of Fear is fair. The clues are there for us. The actual killer was in my list of suspects, but I was not able to winnow it down to the right one before Adamsberg, even though I should have because, as he told his colleagues, all the information was there for them and me to draw on.

http://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/a-climate-of-fear-by-fred-... ( )
1 vote Tonstant.Weader | Feb 10, 2017 |
An excellent murder mystery featuring Captain Adamsberg and his team of Parisian detectives. A murdered woman, a strange family with secrets, a trip to Iceland where something happened that no one talks about and a weird group devoted to Robespierre provide the material for Adamsberg to unravel. The Captain must thread his way through the tenuous interconnections between the characters while battling his team who see the obvious solution and want to close the case.

Who did it comes as a bit of a let down, but for an international audience the thrill is more in getting that view inside French everyday life and how people interact than in capturing the killer. ( )
  pierthinker | Dec 17, 2016 |
Longeant un peu trop le fantastique pour mon goût mais intrigues bien mêlées et captivant.
  Kindlegohome | Sep 21, 2016 |
I love the crime novels of Fred Vargas and particularly the Adamsberg ones. I don't know why they work but they do. Everyone is eccentric and the plots are always convoluted with some hint of the supernatural. But I gobble them up and A Climate of Fear was no exception. Lost Iceland tourists, Revolutionary France societies and wild boars - as crazy and fascinating as they always are. If you've never read one, go back to the beginning and do so - you won't be disappointed. ( )
1 vote infjsarah | Sep 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fred Vargasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Luoma, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Plus que vingt mètres, vingt petits mètres à parcourir avant d'atteindre la boîte aux lettres, c'était plus difficile que prévu.
Only another twenty metres, twenty little metres to reach the postbox, it was harder than she had expected.
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Book description
"Adamsberg attrapa son téléphone, écarta une pile de dossiers et posa les pieds sur sa table, s'inclinant dans son fauteuil. Il avait à peine fermé l'oeil cette nuit, une de ses soeurs ayant contracté une pneumonie, dieu sait comment. La femme du 33 bis ? demanda-t-il. Veines ouvertes dans la baignoire ? Pourquoi tu m'emmerdes avec ça à 9 heures du matin, Bourlin ? D'après les rapports internes, il s'agit d'un suicide avéré. Tu as des doutes ? Adamsberg aimait bien le commissaire Bourlin. Grand mangeur grand fumeur grand buveur, en éruption perpétuelle, vivant à plein régime en rasant les gouffres, dur comme pierre et bouclé comme un jeune agneau, c'était un résistant à respecter, qui serait encore à son poste à cent ans. Le juge Vermillon, le nouveau magistrat zélé, est sur moi comme une tique, dit Bourlin. Tu sais ce que ça fait, les tiques ?"
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A chilling tale of suspicious deaths in the Icelandic mists, and the coldness of Robespierre and the Terror, from France's bestselling crime writer and four-time winner of the CWA International Dagger. A woman is found murdered in her bathtub, and the murder made to look like a suicide. But a strange symbol found at the crime scene leads the local police to call Commissaire Adamsberg. When the symbol is found near the body of a second disguised suicide, a pattern starts to emerge: both victims were involved in a tragic incident in Iceland over 10 years ago. A group of tourists found themselves trapped on a deserted island for two weeks, surrounded by thick, impenetrable fog, and two of them didn't make it back alive. But how are the deaths linked to the local Robespierre society? And what does the mysterious symbol signify?… (more)

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