Book Review: Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand

Fred Vargas

Fred Vargas

Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand by Fred Vargas

The blurb:

Between 1943 and 2003 nine people have been stabbed to death with a most unusual weapon: a trident. In each case, arrests were made, suspects confessed their crimes and were sentenced to life in prison. One slightly worrying detail: each presumed murderer lost consciousness during the night of the crime and has no recollection of it.

Commissaire Adamsberg is convinced all the murders are the work of one person, the terrifying Judge Fulgence. Years before, Adamsberg’s own brother had been the principal suspect in a similar case and avoided prison only thanks to Adamsberg’s help. Then history begins to repeat itself…

My Review:

Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand by Fred Vargas falls into the crime in translation category and is a great example of the genre. Vargas story tells of Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, a commissiare of police in Paris and his life long quest to bring Judge Fulgence to justice. The judge however, having died sixteen years previously, seems to be intent on killing from beyond the grave.

The twists and turns in the plot are pleasurable rather than shocking and more than one turn can be glimpsed from around the corner before it occurs. However there is the odd red herring and double cross. A gently rolling roller coaster then, that nevertheless, by the power of Vargas’s mesmerising storytelling pulls you in and entrances you

The characters, Adamsberg and his deputy in particular are very likeable, quirky characters with more than their fare share of foibles. There is humour throughout this book laced in with the crime and its definitely worth picking up. At times spooky and mysterious at others funny and intelligent, an intriguing and refreshing read.

7 out of 10 stars! *******

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