The second book by a major international mystery writer: this "exciting and careful whodunit is well-executed, page turning crime fiction" (Publishers Weekly).
A small mountain community in the French Alps is roused to terror when they awaken each morning to find yet another of their sheep with its throat torn out. One of the villagers thinks it might be a werewolf, and when she's found killed in the same manner, people begin to wonder if she might have been right. Suspicion falls on Massart, a loner living on the edge of town.
The murdered woman's adopted son, one of her shepherds, and her new friend Camille decide to pursue Massart, who has conveniently disappeared. Their ineptness for the task soon becomes painfully obvious, and they summon Commissaire Adamsberg from the city to bring his exceptional powers of intuition to bear on layer upon layer of buried hatred and secrets.
France's queen of crime writing pits the maverick genius of Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg against ancient, primal fears in a novel that "establishes Vargas as one of the most unusual voices in European crime fiction" (The Sunday Times [London]).
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Each day, inhabitants of a small community in the French Alps find another of their ewes with its throat cut. When one of the villagers too is killed people begin to wonder: could it be the work of a werewolf? Soon suspicion falls on Massart, one of the villagers, because of his beardlessness (according to popular legend, werewolves have no hair on their bodies because they are inside the body).
Soliman, the victim's adopted son; Le Veilleur, a lonely sheperd and Camille, a lovely girl from the city, decide to pursue Massart and their hunt leads them into the Alps, but their incompetence is undisguisable and they decide to summon Commissaire Adamsberg -- well known for his peculiar investigation methods -- to help. Thanks to his extraordinary intuition, Adamsberg unearths an astonishing truth, one that the villagers are going to find hard to believe.
"From the Trade Paperback edition.About the Author:
Fred Vargas is a bestselling author of twelve titles in French, and is published in twenty-two other countries. A historian and archaeologist specializing in the Middle Ages, she lives in Paris.
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