cover image Another Sun

Another Sun

Timothy Williams. Soho Crime, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61695-156-6

After Big Italy (1996) and four earlier mysteries featuring Italian policeman Piero Trotti, Williams delivers a saga of dying French colonialism in 1980 Guadeloupe—a story as convoluted as the racial strains afflicting the island’s diverse, contentious population. French-Algerian judge Anne Marie Laveaud must evaluate the evidence against 83-year-old Hégésippe Bray in the shooting death of Raymond Calais, a wealthy “Béké” (a descendant of the original French colonists). Laveaud, who resists temptation and pressure to close her investigation, finds herself caught up in the welter of relations among the island’s “negros, mulattos, Indians, [and] whites,” particularly the Békés, who make up the bulk of the business people and landowners. At issue are lucrative French subsidies and the potentially violent actions of the Guadeloupe independence movement. Laveaud, despite a strong sense of justice, is buffeted endlessly by the strong winds of change that engulf one mere murder, in this drawn-out tapestry of colonial misrule. (Apr.)