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Maak dat je wegkomt by Fred Vargas
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Maak dat je wegkomt (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Fred Vargas, Rosa Pollé (Translator)

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1,235466,433 (3.96)101
Member:marieke54
Title:Maak dat je wegkomt
Authors:Fred Vargas
Other authors:Rosa Pollé (Translator)
Info:Breda De Geus cop. 2003
Collections:favs from public libraries
Rating:****
Tags:e-book, detective-thriller, paris

Work details

Have Mercy on Us All by Fred Vargas (2001)

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» See also 101 mentions

English (28)  French (8)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this one, Adamsberg has a case where plague symbols are painted around Paris; and a town crier gets mysterious messages to read out from ancient plague texts. After ignoring them for a while, bodies start showing up, obviously strangled, but also bearing black smudges, and the police try to avert a panic about an outbreak of Black Death.
Each character,from the town crier, his landlord and other lodgers, the hangers on around the square, and the police themselves are tightly drawn, Adamsberg condenses some down to three words as an aide-memoire.
The conclusion seemed slightly rushed, that was my only complaint. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
This is the third Adamsberg story, but the Three Evangelists manage to sneak in too, playing a small role as historical advisors. Rather to everyone's surprise, Adamsberg has been appointed head of a specialist murder brigade, and there's a running joke about his inability to remember the names of any of his new subordinates. As in L'homme aux cercles bleus, he gets involved in investigating a series of murders that are prefigured by the appearance of enigmatic symbols, and as in several of the other books, it turns out that the murderer is playing on one of the semi-rational fears that are lodged in our collective cultural memory: in this case the Plague.

The novel has its focus in a very specific spot in Paris, the Rue de la Gaîté/Boulevard Edgar-Quinet crossroads, in the shadow of the Tour Montparnasse, where a beached Breton fisherman, Joss Le Guern, has carved out a new career for himself by reinventing the profession of town-crier: for a 5 franc fee, he roars out small ads to the assembled locals three times a day. Vargas uses this quirky scenario as a clever way of leading us in to accept the idea of a village murder mystery set in the heart of a busy city, with all the main characters being the eccentrics who live or run businesses around this crossroads: an unfrocked schoolmaster who runs a Balzacian private hotel (complete with personalised serviette rings!) and makes lace on the side; the proprietor of a surf-shop whose sister is concerned that he'll catch his death of cold going around in a singlet all the time; a Norman barman descended directly from Thor; an ex-prostitute turned chanteuse, etc. It's all a bit M. Hulot, but it's so charming that Vargas manages to get us to suspend our disbelief for long enough to make it work.

Adamsberg gets involved when Joss becomes worried about some strange apocalyptic messages he's being asked to read out, and at the same time someone seems to be going around painting strange symbols on the doors of apartment buildings. With some help from Marc Vandoosler, he manages to work out the link between the two, but it doesn't get him very far. Then the first body is found, and things start getting very itchy...

Once again, this is a novel that's particularly enjoyable for the way it never goes quite where you're expecting it to: the characters are original, funny and believable, the dialogue very sharp. The mystery itself is absurdly complicated: it relies on a variant of a plot device that old-fashioned mystery writers occasionally used for a single murder (but generally avoided, because it is very hard to make it believable). Applying it to a serial-killer story shows considerable chutzpah - Vargas just about manages to get away with it, and she even adds a special twist of her own. ( )
1 vote thorold | Mar 20, 2016 |
Someone is sending mysterious messages to a man who has revived the practice of town crier, messages that seem, under investigation by a local who runs a sort of boarding house, to be foretelling the coming of the plague. Simultaneously, someone is painting reverse 4s with two crosses on the end (see the cover of the book) on doors. Commissioner Adamsberg, who now is running a murder squad, is disturbed when a woman comes in to tell him about these door paintings. He is disturbed enough to contact a medievalist who turns out to be none other than Vandoosler, one of the three evangelists from the book of that title; he tells Adamsberg that this was an ancient custom designed to thwart the plague. But one door in all the apartment buildings is left unpainted, and soon people in them start turning up dead. They have been strangled, but daubed with black markings meant to simulate the Black Death -- although it turns out that people didn't turn black with the plague. They also had ivory envelopes slit open containing rat fleas slipped under their doors (but the rat fleas turn out to be healthy, not plague carriers). This is just the start of a convoluted story that once again has unforgettable characters and that turns out to be a story of family traditions run amok, and families sticking together and wreaking vengeance on each other. At the end, I couldn't put this book down.
  rebeccanyc | Feb 27, 2016 |
The best Adamsberg novel I have read so far, after not enjoying the first two that much this was much more interesting and better plotted. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
Joss Le Guern has revived the ancient profession of town crier in a small square in Paris in 2000. He starts receiving strange messages which seem to point to the return of the Black Death. Mysterious signs are daubed on all the apartments except one in various apartment blocks. And then the residents of the unmarked apartments start to die off -- and flea bites are found on their bodies. Commissaire Adamsberg investigates.

Taut thriller. Impossible to put down. Interesting to get a French view of the Black Death, subtly different from the English view. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fred Vargasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vargas, Fredmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hare, EmilyMapssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balmelli, MauriziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bellos, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Botto, MargheritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Celebini, DubravkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Churakovoĭ, O.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elligers, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heckscher, EinarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kybal, TomášTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luoma, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matchunakǭn, AthichāTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melichárková, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mock, DavinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pavlič, JanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pollé, RosaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reis, Augusto Afonso dosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riestra, BlancaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheffel, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tang, JesperTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trà̂n, ĐĩnhTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wildsmith, MichaelCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
When manie woormes breede of putrefaction of the earth: toade stooes and rotten herbes abound: The Fruites and beastes of the earth are unsavoury: The wine becomes muddie: manie birds and beastes flye from that place.
Dedication
First words
Joss's settled view was that folks walk faster in Paris than they do in Le Guilvenec, the fishing village where he'd grown up.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Original French title = Pars vite et reviens tard
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
In a small Parisian square, the ancient tradition of the town crier continues into modern times. The self-appointed crier, Joss Le Guern, reads out the daily news, snippets of gossip, and lately, ominous messages — placed in his handmade wooden message box by an anonymous source — that warn of an imminent onset of the bubonic plague.

Concerned, Le Guern brings the puzzling notes to the bumbling but brilliant Chief Inspector Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg and his straight-edged, right-hand man, Adrien Danglard. When strange signs that were historically believed to ward off the black death start to appear on the doors of several buildings, Adamsberg takes notice and suspects a connection with Le Guern's warnings. After a flea-bitten corpse with plague-like symptoms is found in one of the marked buildings, Fred Vargas's inimitable genius chief inspector is under pressure to solve the mystery and restore calm to a panicked Paris. But is it a real case of the bubonic scourge, or just a sinister trick designed to frighten as the body count grows and the culprit continues to elude the police?

Peopled with charming and eccentric Gallic characters, and packed with gripping historical detail, Have Mercy On Us All is a complex, surprising, and stylish tale from France's finest mystery writer.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743284011, Paperback)

In a small Parisian square, the ancient tradition of the town crier continues into modern times. The self-appointed crier, Joss Le Guern, reads out the daily news, snippets of gossip, and lately, ominous messages -- placed in his handmade wooden message box by an anonymous source -- that warn of an imminent onset of the bubonic plague.

Concerned, Le Guern brings the puzzling notes to the bumbling but brilliant Chief Inspector Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg and his straight-edged, right-hand man, Adrien Danglard. When strange signs that were historically believed to ward off the black death start to appear on the doors of several buildings, Adamsberg takes notice and suspects a connection with Le Guern's warnings. After a flea-bitten corpse with plague-like symptoms is found in one of the marked buildings, Fred Vargas's inimitable genius chief inspector is under pressure to solve the mystery and restore calm to a panicked Paris. But is it a real case of the bubonic scourge, or just a sinister trick designed to frighten as the body count grows and the culprit continues to elude the police?

Peopled with charming and eccentric Gallic characters, and packed with gripping historical detail, Have Mercy on Us All is a complex, surprising, and stylish tale from France's finest mystery writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Set in Paris, Fred Vargas's novel addresses a particularly serious and chilling case of murder. Superintendent Adamsberg loves mysteries but when the town crier begins reading disturbing messages that have been slipped in between the daily news, he knows this is no ordinary crime and no normal criminal.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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