Review: The Children Return
The most recent installment of the Bruno: Chief of Police series by Martin Walker is now available. The Children Return once again finds our hero Bruno pitted against forces larger than himself, and his local police force, in rural St. Denis, France. Starting with a murdered undercover agent who had been investigating local jihadists, Bruno’s concerns quickly escalate to include a local autistic boy who had been hijacked by Islamic extremists, spirited away to Afghanistan and used for his amazing information-gathering technical skills. He has now been rescued and returned to St. Denis, but his former captors are not letting him go that easily, and fears grow for his safety, and that of his family and the local populace, should these forces pursue him back to his home town.
Interwoven with this storyline are a few other subplots involving international intrigue, local history and as always with Bruno, a potential new love interest, complications with his old love interest, good food, good wine, good friends and the beauty of the Dordogne countryside.
While these mysteries are a charming read, they always showcase an interesting plot with some twists. In addition they contain a serious vein which examines contemporary controversies. This time around, the focus is on issues involving the large and growing Muslim population in France. The people and local officials of the fictional town of St. Denis face these, as always, under the watchful and protective eye of their beloved Bruno: Chief of Police.