The Killing Tide by Jean-Luc Bannalec (review)

Now I want to visit Brittany….

I’ve read a couple of the earlier titles in Jean-Luc Bannalec’s Georges Dupin series, set in Brittany, and have enjoyed them a lot.  So I was happy to receive an advance review copy of Bannalec’s latest title to be translated into English – The Killing Tide

All of the elements that I’ve enjoyed in the earlier titles were present in this book as well – wonderful descriptions of Brittany and its close relationship with the ocean,  great food scenes (Dupin can almost always be distracted by food, although it doesn’t seem to keep him from solving cases), and a nice mystery to be solved.   The writing is sharp, and I enjoyed following along with Dupin and his cast of characters as he investigates.   I liked this book enough that I finished it over a weekend, and spent the next few days wishing I could visit Brittany.

I had one minor issue with this book, which was the lack of much visibility for Nolwenn, Dupin’s guide to all things Breton.  Nolwenn reminds me of another favorite character of mine – Signorina Elettra in Donna Leon’s Brunetti series – and although Nolwenn makes cameo appearances by phone, I missed seeing more of her. 

All-in-all, though, I look forward very much to the next title in the series to be translated.  My thanks again to Edelweiss and Minotaur Books for the ARC.  And also please keep in mind that I try to fight “star-inflation” a little bit.  I reserve 5 stars for maybe one in thirty or forty books I read, so 4 stars is a great rating and a solid “read this book” recommendation from me. 

Final note: There’s not a super-strong overarching story arc to the Dupin series, and The Killing Tide can be read as a stand-alone mystery. However, I think readers might enjoy it a bit more if they have read some of the earlier titles in the series, and have more background with the characters.

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