The White Path by Viviane Moore

The White Path by Viviane Moore.  This medieval mystery set in 1146 is the fourth entry in the Chevalier Galeran series.  It follows the pilgrimage of a group traveling from Le Puy in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the journey known as the White Path.  Hidden among the pilgrims is an evil murderer, who leaves behind a trail of brutally stabbed victims.  Leading the group is Hubert, an ex-crusader on his fourth trip to Compostela.  He is accompanied by Bruna the Untamed and her mysterious mistress who never speaks, Guillaume the mason and his wife and son, a cleric, a shepherd and two merchants from Le Puy.  Galeran is forewarned of the killings by a strange Moorish woman and hears of the killings while visiting Baron de Peyre, on whose lands the white path crosses.  He agrees to investigate on behalf of the baron, joining the pilgrims only to find his older, long-lost brother, Ronan the musician, amongst them.  Eventually, the bloodlust that drives the beast resurfaces and Galeran attempts to stop the murderer before another dead body results.  Galeran is portrayed more as a man of action, courage and compassion with knowledge from experience rather than an overwhelming intellect.  The pace of the story is good, the characters adequately developed, and the plot sufficiently cryptic with a nice twist at the end.  Unfortunately, neither of my local libraries nor the state union catalog holds any of the other stories in the series, so I may have to rely on interlibrary loan to find them.

The pilgrimage is still made by travelers each year.  Read about one couple’s 2003 journey, which describes (with accompanying photos) many of the locations mentioned in the book.

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