The Chalk Circle Man

by Fred Vargas

Crime / Mystery eBooks of the Month Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on The Chalk Circle Man

Winner of the CWA International Dagger 2009.


This is the book that first introduces us to Jean Baptiste Adamsberg, a detective who works very much on his intuition. When objects start appearing inside chalk circles all over the streets of Paris he suspects there is something much more sinister going on than some kind of street art and when a dead body turns up in the next chalk circle it seems his suspicions were right. A great cast of quirky characters and a cleverly thought out plot make for a gripping read.

The Chalk Circle Man Synopsis

Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is not like other policemen. His methods appear unorthodox in the extreme: he doesn’t search for clues; he ignores obvious suspects and arrests people with cast-iron alibis; he appears permanently distracted. In spite of all this his colleagues are forced to admit that he is highly successful – a born cop.

When strange blue chalk circles start appearing overnight on the pavements of Paris, the press take up the story with amusement and psychiatrists trot out their theories. Adamsberg is alone in thinking this is not a game and far from amusing. He insists on being kept informed of new circles and the increasingly bizarre objects which they contain: a pigeon’s foot, four cigarette lighters, a badge proclaiming ‘I Love Elvis’, a hat, a doll’s head. Adamsberg senses the cruelty that lies behind these seemingly random occurrences. Soon a circle with decidedly less banal contents is discovered: the body of a woman with her throat savagely cut. Adamsberg knows that other murders will follow.

The Chalk Circle Man is the first book featuring Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, one of the most engaging characters in contemporary detective fiction.


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The Chalk Circle Man Press Reviews

'A good introduction to this quirky French writer… It is a testimony to both Vargas’s skill as a writer and Reynolds’s excellent translation that one is swept along by the sheer nouvelle vague-ish inventiveness of the whole thing' Laura Wilson, Guardian


'rich and witty book' Jane Jakeman,  Independent
'She wants to surprise, unsettle, frustrate and amuse – and succeeds in writing a gripping novel that takes readers out of their comfort zones' Marion Sauvebois  The Scotsman
'The novel shows Vargas in riveting form right from the start of her writing career' Marcel Berlins,  The Times

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781843432722
Publication date: 05/02/2009
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781843432722
Publication date: 5th February 2009
Author: Fred Vargas
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback
Genres: Crime / Mystery, eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,

About Fred Vargas

Fred Vargas was born in Paris in 1957. As well as being a best-selling author in France, she is by training an historian and archaeologist.  

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