Not Far as Velma

Nicholas Freeling, Author, Nicolas Freeling, Author
Nicholas Freeling, Author, Nicolas Freeling, Author Mysterious Press $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89296-380-5
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Though they delve into crime and criminal investigation, Freeling's mysteries usually serve up a kind of social stew in which a policeman patiently reduces the ingredients of the case to see what is essential--sometimes it's the criminal; sometimes it's not. In this, the latest volume in the Henri Castang series, Freeling's ingredients include a concentration camp survivor, a Catholic bishop, a New Zealander rugby player, a renegade British journalist and a kind hoteliere. Castang, now a commissaire in a nameless northern French city, looks into two seemingly unrelated incidents--the disappearance of a woman and the terrorist bombing of a convent--and discovers that these represent the denouement of a chain of events that actually began in a concentration camp at the end of the war. Like much of Freeling's best, this novel delves into the surrealism of bureaucracy and the honorable struggles individuals wage against inhumane institutions, be they the offices of justice, the prison camps or even the church. The result is the rich and savory ratatouille fans have come to expect from Freeling--ironical and humorous, sad, clever and insightful. (June)
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