An Uncertain Place takes readers to more than one uncertain place, from Highgate Cemetery to a manor outside Paris to a forest in Serbia. Leading us there is Commissaire Adamsberg, the chief of police of Paris’s 7th Arrondissement, a high-ranking, powerful officer respected throughout France and much of the world. In fact, he begins the novel in London at a major policing conference. While there, he and Danglard, his subordinate, find the gruesome remnants of several pairs of shoes with the severed feet still in them. Somehow he is certain that case will eventually find its way back to France. Of course, he is right.
Back in France he is called out to an annihilation, a murder so complete and extreme that I have no interest in describing it. This kind of annihilating murder must be motivated by intense passion and hatred. Otherworldly. The victim’s doctor, Dr. Josselin, provides valuable insight into the character of the victim and invaluable treatment of Adamsberg’s tinnitus.
The investigation brings Adamsberg to Romania and into myth. Through it all, Adamsberg remains the phlegmatic collector of information, facts, ideas and myths. His conversations wander as widely as his attention. Meanwhile, the investigation is beset by mistakes–the kinds of mistakes that can derail a career and ruin lives. Adamsberg is slow to recognize he is the target, but his friends are not. With an unseen enemy and an unknown murderer, Adamsberg faces some of his most difficult challenges.
I enjoyed An Uncertain Place. It is not as excellent as the earlier ones in this series, but it is engrossing. It was too obvious, too soon, who the killer would be simply because no one else would be fair and Vargas is fair.