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THE BRUNEL CASE: WHEN THE FAVOURITE SON DISAPPEARS | Enquêtes criminelles | W9

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the hills of the Vaucluse. For two weeks, there’s been no sign of life from Jean-Marc Brunel, a 58-year-old company boss. At first sight, it looks as if he just dropped everything: emptied his well-stocked bank accounts, took out a loan of several thousand euros and sold his favourite motorbike. But for what reason? And why leave his parents, Irene and Michel, without news? His departure and inexplicable silence cause the Marseille gendarmerie missing persons bureau to open an investigation. And what the missing man’s cleaning lady tells them raises concerns. Although her boss may have been absent for weeks, the house, however, has not been empty: Dominique, the elder brother, recently returned from Latin America, has moved into the villa. And, according to him, Jean-Marc actually went off to join a woman in the Ukraine! Only, for the missing man’s parents, this tale of a sudden departure does not hold up: their son was desperately in love with a woman whom he planned to marry within a few months. And then, despite their family bond, the two brothers were not the best friends in the world. Far from it: the elder was morbidly jealous of his younger sibling. More worrying is that he is reputed to be prepared to go to any lengths where money is concerned. So, does Dominique Brunel have any connection to the sudden disappearance of his brother? Where is Jean-Marc Brunel? And, more important, what happened to him?