'European fiction is the new black... Vargas is my favourite European crime writer' Peter Guttridge.
Between 1943 and 2003 nine people have been stabbed to death with a most unusual weapon: a trident. In each case, arrests were made, suspects confessed their crimes and were sentenced to life in prison. One slightly worrying detail: each presumed murderer lost consciousness during the night of the crime and has no recollection of it.
Commissaire Adamsberg is convinced all the murders are the work of one person, the terrifying Judge Fulgence. Years before, Adamsberg's own brother had been the principal suspect in a similar case and avoided prison only thanks to Adamsberg's help.
History repeats itself when Adamsberg, who is temporarily based in Quebec for a training mission, is accused of having savagely murdered a young woman he had met. In order to prove his innocence, Adamsberg must go on the run from the Canadian police and find Judge Fulgence.
“No one writes crime novels quite like the French author Fred Vargas... another compelling read by this most original of novelists”
Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph
“Vargas has a wonderfully offbeat imagination that makes each of her novels a refreshing delight”
Peter Guttridge, Observer
“Establishes Vargas beyond doubt as a cool, clever, original and deeply humane crime writer”
Heather Oâ??Donoghue, TLS
“It is enthralling and great fun from start to finish....all done with great verve, wit and invention”
Allan Massie, Scotsman
“Riveting reading... Vargas writes novels that won't let you go, disturb and linger long”
“There is a haunting quality to Vargas's writing”
Kath Murphy, Scotland on Sunday
“A rising star within the narrow field of good, intellectual crime novels... Vargas has a marvellous way with landscape and secondary characters”
Carrie Oâ??Grady, Guardian
“It's her winning blend of empathy, humour and moral determination that places her books in the best-seller charts”
Christian House, Independent on Sunday
“Elegant plotting and misfit characters, gives US blockbusters a run for their money”
“Vargas's weightiest and most ambitious tome, but shot through with that nervy and sardonic Gallic humour that is her métier”
Good Book Guide
“Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand firmly demonstrates why Vargas is spoken of in such warm terms by admirers... universal in its cutting psychology, and the personalities of her characters are rendered with off-kilter skill”
Barry Forshaw & Laura Wilson, The Times, The best crime novels of the decade