An Uncertain Place, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Three-times winner of the CWA International Dagger for Crime Fiction.

Commissaire Adamsberg has left Paris for a police conference in London, accompanied by anglophile Commandant Danglard and Estalere, a young sergeant.

The city offers a welcome change of scenery until a gruesome discovery is made - just outside the gates of Highgate Cemetery a pile of shoes, all containing severed feet, is found.

Returning to Paris, the three men are then confronted with the violent killing and dismemberment of a wealthy, elderly man.

Both the dead man's son and gardener have motives for murder, but soon another candidate for the killing emerges.

As Adamsberg investigates the links between these two unsettling crimes, he puts himself at terrible risk.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780099552239



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

As chief of the Serious Crimes Squad in Paris Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is sent to London to attend a conference designed to foster relations for police forces across Europe. He's taking Danglard with him to help translate. While being shown some of the sights by an English colleague they are pointed in the direction of a peculiar incident. Some shoes have been left outside of Highgate Cemetery and the disturbing part of the discovery is that there are feet still in them. So Adamsberg becomes acquainted with the tale of the Highgate vampire and when a particularly brutal murder occurs back in Paris where the body has suffered extreme destruction could there be a connection? There may be risks both personally and professionally in pursuing this case but when has that ever stopped Adamsberg or his team of eccentrics?All the hallmarks that make this series stand out for me are included in this instalment. The quirky characters with Adamsberg being at the fore once again and the trips to different locations (a fish out of water in London but much more comfortable in small village life in Serbia) help to keep the narrative fresh. The mystery itself is never too important with these stories for me as I do enjoy just spending time with the marvellous characters that Vargas has brought to life with the help of another excellent translation from Sian Reynolds. While it's not too difficult to point an accusatory finger at a would-be culprit the journey up to the final denouement is still an enjoyable one. Glad to know I've still not reached the end of this series and I still have more adventures with the Commissaire and his crew to look forward to.

Review by

I loved this instalment in the series and how Vargas mixed ‘fact’ – the Highgate Vampire story is based on real reports of supernatural activity in and around Highgate Cemetery in the 1970s – and fiction. I also loved how the seemingly random elements of the plot, the shoes and the decomposing feet found at Highgate, the murder and complete disintegration of the victim’s body, and the Serbian village, all came together at the end. Fabulous.

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