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Seeking Whom He May Devour: Chief Inspector…
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Seeking Whom He May Devour: Chief Inspector Adamsberg Investigates (Chief… (original 1999; edition 2006)

by Fred Vargas

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932379,353 (3.71)54
Member:everfresh1
Title:Seeking Whom He May Devour: Chief Inspector Adamsberg Investigates (Chief Inspector Adamsberg Mysteries)
Authors:Fred Vargas
Info:Simon & Schuster (2006), Edition: Original, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Foreign, Mystery, Fiction
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Seeking Whom He May Devour by Fred Vargas (1999)

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» See also 54 mentions

English (32)  Italian (3)  French (2)  English (37)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Quirky. Vargas created a non-logical, dreamish detective who surrounds the facts and scenes of crimes with his blurry mental musings. And finally the truth pops out. The book plays by the rules of a whodunit: all the clues are there along with the distractions. A love interest drifts in and out of love. And some characters-- more from absurdist plays than from detective novels--do a road trip with our detective, but they are from the mountains of sheepraising France, so they all may be real. Fun book, different, quirky.

Beware of reading the bookcover blurb. It summarizes the first 150 pages, and the book is not that long. Luckily I jumped into page one before looking at the back. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
This is the first book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it, will definitely be looking out for more of her books. This was a very quick read and my only complaint is that the bad guy was fairly obvious or maybe it was because I didn't like the character that I wanted him to be the killer. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
Homo homini lupus est

When you have the feeling that the formula of a long-running crime series is getting a bit dull, the classic trick for varying the pace and inserting some extra tension is to use a plot where the detective is not brought into contact with the crime until somewhere in the final chapters, leaving your Harriet/Doctor Watson character the first two hundred pages or so to struggle with the mystery unsupported. There aren't many crime writers who would have the nerve to do this already in the second book of a series, especially when the Harriet in question was offstage for almost the whole of the first book. But Fred Vargas is clearly someone who doesn't feel the need to follow the rulebook (to paraphrase a catchphrase from this novel...).

What we get is an entertaining road-mouvie, in which a female plumber/composer drives the only-black-man-in-the-village and an ancient shepherd around southern France in the country's smelliest motor-caravan, in pursuit of a suspected werewolf. And why not? The actual mystery is almost an afterthought (with a solution that's not all that difficult to guess from the outset), but most of the interest of the story is in the engagingly offbeat interactions between the three eccentric pursuers, which become even more interesting once the chronically offbeat Commissaire Adamsberg joins the party. Great fun, and definitely not a book where you stop to ask yourself too many questions about how implausible it all is. ( )
  thorold | Mar 3, 2016 |
I'm glad I read the first in this series first, because it took a long time for Commissaire Adamsberg to show up in this mystery, and the story definitely picked up when he started actively taking part in the investigation. The mystery revolves around what or who is killing sheep in a remote mountainous region of France -- and then people too. It appears to be a large wolf. Or is it, as some suggest, a werewolf? Or is it an unpopular person who might have tamed a wolf? As in the previous mystery I read, Vargas excels at creating characters, and a dierse group of them starts investigating the unpopular man. They include Camille, Adamsberg's former girlfriend (for whom he pines) her Canadian wolf-studying boyfriend, the adopted African son of the first woman to be killed, and one of her elderly shepherds. This takes up the bulk of the book. Then, when they reach a dead end, Camille is persuaded, unwillingly, to call Adamsberg. The solution, when it comes, through Adamsberg's signature dreaminess, seems a little pulled out of thin air, but I didn't mind because of the fascinating characters.
1 vote rebeccanyc | Jan 25, 2016 |
Bettern than the Chalk Circle Man (which is the first, I haven't found the second one yet), possibly as Adamsberg doesn't really come into the book until the last half of the book. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fred Vargasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bellos, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruchard, Dorothée deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burshṭain, AvigailTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elligers, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Girard, Anne-Hélène SuárezTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
González Rodríguez, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heckscher, EinarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kybal, TomášTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luoma, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mélaouah, YasminaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melaouah, YasminaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pavlič, JanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pollé, RosaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saʻīd, SaḥarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheffel, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szeżyńska-Maćk… KrystynaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanaka, ChiharuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tarysino, ElenyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yiğiter, NuriyeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On Tuesday, four sheep were killed at Ventebrune in the French Alps.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Original French title: L'homme à l'envers
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A small mountain community in the French Alps is roused to terror when they awaken each morning to find yet another of their sheep with its throat torn out. One of the villagers thinks it might be a werewolf, and when she's found killed in the same manner, people begin to wonder if she might have been right. Suspicion falls on Massart, a loner living on the edge of the woods.

The murdered woman's adopted son, one of her shepherds, and her new friend Camille decide to pursue Massart, who has conveniently disappeared. Their ineptness for the task soon becomes painfully obvious, and they summon Commissaire Adamsberg from the city to bring his exceptional powers of intuition to bear on layer upon layer of buried hatred and secrets.

France's queen of crime writing pits the maverick genius of Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg against ancient, primal fears.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074328402X, Paperback)

A small mountain community in the French Alps is roused to terror when they awaken each morning to find yet another of their sheep with its throat torn out. One of the villagers thinks it might be a werewolf, and when she's found killed in the same manner, people begin to wonder if she might have been right. Suspicion falls on Massart, a loner living on the edge of town.

The murdered woman's adopted son, one of her shepherds, and her new friend Camille decide to pursue Massart, who has conveniently disappeared. Their ineptness for the task soon becomes painfully obvious, and they summon Commissaire Adamsberg from the city to bring his exceptional powers of intuition to bear on layer upon layer of buried hatred and secrets.

France's queen of crime writing pits the maverick genius of Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg against ancient, primal fears in a novel that "establishes Vargas as one of the most unusual voices in European crime fiction" (The Sunday Times [London]).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In a small village in the Alps, it appears that a very large wolf is attacking sheep. When a woman is also killed, rumors about werewolves begin to spread.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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