A new mystery for Adamsberg, a fantastic new novel from Fred Vargas
On the outskirts of Paris, two men have been found with their throats cut. It is assumed that this is a drug-related incident of the kind so often uncovered in that area of town. But Adamsberg is convinced that there is more to it. Anxious to keep control of the case, he must call in a favour from the pathologist Ariane Lagarde, someone he had come up against twenty-three years previously. The trail also leads Adamsberg to a cemetery, where a grave has been disturbed with no apparent motive. Could this be the work of the elderly nurse – a serial killer caught by Adamsberg two years ago and recently escaped from prison? Meanwhile a new lieutenant has been assigned to the team. There is something disquieting about him, not least when it emerges that he is from a neighbouring village in the Pyrenees, known for its feuds with Adamsberg’s own childhood home. This Night’s Foul Work is another riveting case for that most engaging of contemporary detectives, Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, and another triumph from the redoubtable Fred Vargas.
Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of French historian, archaeologist and writer Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau, born in 1957 in Paris. Fred is the diminutive of her given name, Frédérique, while Vargas derives from the Ava Gardner character in The Barefoot Contessa and is the pseudonym adopted by her twin sister, Joëlle Jo Vargas, a painter.
She mostly writes police thrillers (policiers). They take place in Paris and feature the adventures of Chief Inspector Adamsberg and his team. Her interest in the Middle Ages is manifest in many of her novels, especially through the person of Marc Vandoosler, a young specialist in the period. Seeking Whom He May Devour was shortlisted by the British Crime Writers' Association for the last Gold Dagger award for best crime novel of the year, and the following year The Three Evangelists won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie International Dagger. She also won the award for the second year-running with Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand.
Fred Vargas took an important part in the defence of Cesare Battisti, a left-wing activist sought by Italian and French justice since 2004 for alleged assassinations committed in the 1970s, during the "years of lead".