Fabien and Sylvie both knew their marriage wasn't working. But when Sylvie is involved in a fatal car accident, Fabien is stunned to discover she had a lover who died with her. Harbouring thoughts of revenge, he tracks down the lover's widow, Martine, and begins stalking her. Fabien is desperate to get Martine on her own. And that won't happen until he deals with her protective best friend, Madeleine...
Another new to me author and one who is sadly no longer with us. French author Garnier died in March 2010. Gallic Books have so far published 5 of Garnier’s short slices of French noir, with a sixth The Islanders due out in November of this year. Thanks to Jose - The Game's Afoot (The Panda Theory review) and Sarah at Crimepieces (The Front Seat Passenger review) for bringing Garnier to my attention.
There’s a lot to like with this book. It’s short – always a plus in my reading world, dark and a little bit disturbing. I was reminded of a Stephen King book and film at one point when Garnier turned the plot on its head. I won’t name check the book because it may reveal a bit too much about things and I wouldn’t want to go spoiling things for anyone.
We have an interesting main character, Fabien. Someone who I was rooting for without ever actually liking him. He’s a bit too passive and lethargic to actually feel any great sympathy for him. He has a strange, uncomfortable relationship with his father and only one good friend in his life.
We have a couple of strong females, Madeleine and Sylvie. Neither are particularly likeable and warming, though they’re perhaps a lot more interesting because of this. No family with the demise of Sylvie’s husband and only each other, until Fabien unwittingly engineers an introduction.
Great set-up, great twist, touches of humour and dispassionate violence. Odd characters, with their own secrets and hang-ups and foibles.
Verdict – quirky and unlike anything I have read for a while.
5 from 5.
Always one to impulsively stockpile books ahead of sampling an author,
How’s the Pain, The A26, Moon in a Dead Eye and The Panda Theory are all waiting for me. I don't think I will be regretting my pre-emptive purchasing!
Grateful thanks to Emily at Gallic for my copy of this. Their website is here.