First Sentence: A trail of tiny breadcrumbs led from the kitchen into the bedroom, as far as the spotless sheets where the old woman lay dead, her mouth open.
Adamsburg travels to Ordebec in response to a woman’s plea. Her
daughter, Lina, has seen the Ghost Riders with four men. According to
legend, this mean each of these men will meet a violent death.
Adamsburg takes with him a young man he believes innocent of the murder
for which he is accused, and his 18-year-old son, whom he recently met.
Although entranced by the lovely Lina, one of the envisioned men does
die and it’s time for Adamsburg to get to work.
nothing ordinary about a Fred Vargas book. It begins with a unique
murder, quickly solved by Adamsberg, which quickly displays his
understanding of people and their behaviors.
The Serious Crime
Unit, of which he is the head, is a collection of strange and unusual
individuals. It’s hard to imagine how they solve crimes, but solve them
they do. Vargas even keeps the characters from her book “The Three
Evangelists” included in this series.
Legends, ghost stories,
witchcraft, and the supernatural are included in the story, but don’t
overtake the fact that this is, at its core, a police procedural. Yet
her books are definitely character-driven focusing not only on their
physical presence, but their personal characteristics.
something mercurial and wise about Vega’s writing that can make you stop
and think…”The world’s full of details, have you noticed? And since no
details is ever repeated in exactly the same shape and always sets off
others details, there’s no end to it.”
“The Ghost Riders of Ordebec” started off just a bit slowly but quickly made up for it. It
is, as are all her books, wonderfully weird and very French. You’ll
either be completely entranced by Vargas' writing, or she’ll just not
quite be your cup of tea. Me? I’m firmly in the former group.
THE GHOST RIDERS OF ORDEBEC (Pol Proc-Comm. Adamsberg-France-Contemp) – VG+
Vargas, Fred – 7th in series
Penguin Books, 2013