|The Mysterious Ms. Vermeer|
Torture! The thought of joining an uppity, hoity-toity book club and having to read a thick, dull book wasn't my idea of a good time. I wouldn't have gone to the first meeting if I could have gotten a dental appointment at night. I'm not easily entertained but once I met with the enthusiastic fellow Dolce Vita di Libro Book Club members and heard about the well-thought-of book selection, I was a little less dubious -- by just a wee bit. Then I got the book in my hands and started to read. To my amazement, the enjoyment of reading swept over me and I was able to absorbed large chunks of the book at a single sitting.
"Bruno, Chief of Police" by Martin Walker is a delight. The main character's provocative attitude toward life was entertaining as all-get-out. The various references to music, food, and places infused a realistic dimension to this usually hackneyed genre. Bruno's skillful ability to do one thing after another was actually an inspiration. The one scene in which the English woman prepared dinner, trying to make the food her version of French cooking, was really fabulous. Still, my only complaint is that there wasn't enough sex (wink, wink).
The description of the local village and townspeople brought the book to life, more of a diary made into a novel where you could tell the author knew precisely what he was speaking about. The tone of the book reminded me of a Tom Clancy or a Stewart Woods book. The plot was intriguing, moved along, and the resolution satisfying -- not as in some cases where the ending seems contrived and the reader feels cheated. Now, "Bruno", with his wit and wisdom, seems to me as much of a realized character as Sherlock Holmes or Columbo or James Bond.
I would recommend (and have) "Bruno, Chief of Police". I'm glad I read it and I'm happy to be a part of such a worthy group as is Dolce Vita di Libro, full of old friends and new ones.
What rating would I give the book on a scale of one-to-ten? Eight. To get a ten, the author needs to sex it up.