A mysterious killer strikes in a city where crime should be impossible.
For generations, police investigations have been unnecessary in the city of Basle. Tiny tracers identify any criminal as soon as an illegal action takes place, and this has made the city virtually crime-free.
But now the city is torn apart by a series of gruesome murders committed by a shadowy figure known only as the Baron of the Mists. And qualified witch and detective Roberta Morgenstern and her young associate Clément Martineau are on the killer's trail.
High-speed chases across rooftops and through the city's winding streets lead Roberta and Clément to the Queen of the Gypsies, the pirates of the lagoon, the practicers of some very dark alchemy, and finally to the deadly Baron of the Mists himself. . . .
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HervÉ Jubert worked as a chauffeur, butcher's assistant, and drummer in a rock band before becoming a writer. He lives in the south of France. Devil's Tango was first published in France.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up—Jubert's second book in a dance-themed fantasy series is a confusing mix of magic, science, and future history. The city of Basle, located in the mountains of Switzerland, is apparently one of the few remaining areas of dry land in the world. A catastrophic flood has wiped out much of civilization and the survivors live in isolated city-states. This information is difficult to ascertain, requiring close attention to detail, a good knowledge of European geography, and several hundred pages. In Basle, crime is virtually unknown. Tiny wind-born particles, called tracers, monitor all areas of the city, making detective work unnecessary. The tracers were invented by the city's witches in return for tolerance of their existence. Improbably, that existence is known to the political bureaucracy but has never leaked to the public. The police detective bureau is at the point of being disbanded when a series of gruesome murders occurs, undetected by the tracers. It is up to Detective Roberta Morgenstern and her lover/dance instructor to find the killer. Though parts of the story are interesting, the phrasing is frequently awkward and many of the plot elements seem thrown together. Witchcraft, herbal medicine, computers, gypsies, golems, genetics, and nanotechnology don't fit together all that neatly. The identity of the killer can be deduced midway through the story, but the explanation of how the victims are chosen stretches logic to the breaking point, even given the existence of magic. Readers will find Elizabeth Knox's Dreamhunter (Farrar, 2006) better written and more entertaining.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA
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Book Description Eos, 2006. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Tra. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060777214