Martin Walker is the U.S. bureau chief for The Guardian (London), a regular commentator for CNN, and a columnist for newspapers in the United States, Europe, and Moscow. A published novelist and poet, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, the novelist Julia Watson, and their two daughters.
It's market day in St Denis, a small town in the Perigord region of south-west France. The locals are on the alert because inspectors are about to make a 'surprise visit', hoping to enforce the unpopular and bureaucratic EU hygiene rules. But for Captain Bruno Courteges, St Denis' Chief of Police, this particular market day turns into something far more serious.