Hugo Duchamp Investigates: Un Homme Qui Attend introduces a French policeman who has been working abroad in London as an investigator for over a decade; but when he's called home, it's not for family reasons but to investigate the death of a child - an event replete with town politics and special interests.
As if a child's deliberate murder wasn't enough, the protagonist of Hugo is quite gay, romance runs through the story line, and the story's sense of place is immersed in the sights, smells, and sounds of France.
The result is a powerful saga that does more than describe a veteran investigator's dilemma: it's infused with the culture of France, gay sexuality, and foods, wines, and characters who are steeped in the French countryside.
All this is part of what serves to make Hugo Duchamp Investigates such a vivid read: even those who have never set foot on French soil will find themselves involved in politics, investigative processes, and personalities that are uniquely French, from village residents to reporters to investigators.
As Hugo peels back layers of long-held town secrets, powerful individual special interests, and the specter of possibly more children in danger, he edges ever closer to a truth that might ripple out and destroy long-held secrets and Hugo's world alike. It all boils down to what will be done for love and revenge, and what will be wrecked in the process.
The feisty detective work of Hugo, his French culture, and his love life promise something satisfyingly different in the world of investigative mysteries, and making this especially recommended for readers who enjoy a firm sense of place and a protagonist whose interests and life don't exactly fit the norm.