Wash the Blood Clean from My Hand, by Fred Vargas
Written by
Barbara Morrison
September 2011
Written by
Barbara Morrison
September 2011

A small newspaper article puts Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg back on the trail of a serial killer he’s been tracking for thirty years. The killer’s M.O. is unmistakeable: a knock on the head and three puncture wounds in a row, equally spaced and equally deep. No one by Adamsberg even accepts that the murders are related since the killer always provides a fall guy: someone too drunk to remember his actions and conveniently holding the ostensible murder weapon. One of those fall guys was Adamsberg’s brother, so the commissaire has a personal stake in identifying the real killer. He even knows who it is: the draconian judge who terrorized their childhood. Given the judge’s power and reputation, no one took Adamsberg’s accusations seriously. And now the judge has been dead for sixteen years.

Set in Paris and Quebec, where Adamsberg and several of his colleagues are sent to learn DNA profiling from the RCMP, this book is an engaging mix of complex storylines and eccentric characters. Plus, did I mention Paris and Quebec?


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