cover image Murder on Brittany Shores

Murder on Brittany Shores

Jean-Luc Bannalec, trans. from the German by Sorcha McDonagh. Minotaur, $24.99

Bannalec’s riveting sequel to 2015’s Death in Brittany takes Commissaire Georges Dupin from Concarneau, a town on the Brittany coast, to the Glénan Islands 10 miles offshore. The bodies of three men have washed up on the beach of one of the islands after a strong storm the night before. They all appear to have drowned. The case becomes more complicated when the medical examiner finds traces of strong sedatives in two of the men. The eccentric, methodical Dupin and his team interview a number of well-drawn locals in their effort to identify the victims and ascertain the passions that might have motivated someone to murder them. Commentary on such subjects as tourism, ecology, and commercial development enhance the complex plot, as do vivid descriptions of the terrain (“The long, flat islands floated on the deep opal sea as if by magic, a little blurred, shimmering”). The final twist leaves readers wondering how justice is best served. Bannalec is the pseudonym of German author Jörg Bong. (July)