Saturday, September 12, 2009

"The Chalk Circle Man" is Hercule Poirot back?

"The Chalk Circle Man" introduces detective Commissaire Jean Baptiste Adamsberg who uses his brain to figure things out rather than old fashioned detective methods. He suspects something sinister when he spots blue chalk circles appearing in the Paris neighborhoods.

Adamsberg and his assistant, Adrien Danglard are tracking the chalk circles and what is being placed in them. It gets progressively serious, a dead mouse, a dead cat and finally, it happens. A woman, Madeline Chatelain, is found with her throat cut, inside the chalk circle.

In another part of the story, Mathelde Forestier, an oceanographer becomes friends with a young man, Charles Reyer. She calls Adamsberg and tells him that she has seen the man who draws circles. From the things she does and other actions, Adamsberg begins to think that she might be the killer. However, he realises that she is innocent. With his knowledge of human activity, Adamsberg feels that the killer is about to strike again and tells Mathelde to stay home that night as a precaution.

It becomes a cat and mouse game with Adamsberg figuring where the killer might strike next and eliminating the suspects in attempt to catch the killer. However, the killer murders another woman. This time Delphine Le Nermord is the victim. Now Adamsberg interviews her family and friends to see who might have a motive for her death.

Painstakingly, the investigation moves on, at times it seems that it is a new version of Agatha Christie and that Adamsberg has studied under Hercule Poirot. Finally, the killer is caught and charged with four murders.

The story was dry, a psychological novel with much thought and little action. A quick read that was a pleasant change of pace.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I've been wanting to get a hold of this book, so it was interesting to read your review.

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Broken Promise