Black DiamondBook - 2011
France's Périgord region is the home of the exquisite "black diamond" truffle, and at five thousand euros a kilo, it's a treasured local asset. When reports come in that this unique delicacy is being adulterated with a cheaper Chinese version, Bruno is asked to investigate. Is organized crime behind the gastronomic swindle?
In the St. Denis market, a Vietnamese family runs a popular stall selling their country's dishes, until one day it is overturned and wrecked by attackers who appear to be Chinese. Bruno wonders if these are the opening shots of an Asian gang war. When Hercule, a friend of Bruno's and former top-level military man, is found brutally murdered, things start to look more complex still, as past and present converge around historical wounds connected to France's clandestine involvement in Algeria and Indo-China. The investigation also complicates Bruno's romantic life by bringing back to town his one-time flame Isabelle, an ambitious Paris-based police inspector.
As Bruno seeks to unravel the mystery, Black Diamond once again immerses us in the irresistible atmosphere of rural France, with all its charm, personalities and delectable wine and cuisine, while also opening a window onto the more mysterious and unsavoury side of France's colonial history--and the potentially deadly contemporary consequences.