A master of style and suspense explores moral dilemmas, in this story of marriage, murder, and double-crosses.
Hardcover, 170 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by New Press, The
(first published January 1st 2006)
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Sam and Lise live out their miserable lives on the French Atlantic coast. He spends the day with mindless TV shows, she works nights as a nightclub hostess. The older and wealthy widower Henri wants to marry her, to which she agrees, and this should end their money troubles. Instead of a marriage Sam and Lise stages together their own kidnapping to fool him and releasing money without having further obligations. Henri goes on a ransom demand, but at the money transfer something goes wrong.
I found this novel on the "new books" shelf at the library and it sounded like the usual contemporary crime novel, although translated from its original French. I have to say that it is not your typical noir. The plot was familiar and somewhat predictable for any mystery fan, but the prose was beautiful. I've never read a crime story that was written in such an elegant way. It is a small novel which I easily read in one sitting and would recommend to anyone for a quick, enjoyable read. I think I...more
A young French couple conspires to kidnap a wealthy older gentleman by arranging a sham marriage to the woman. Things go awry and now we are dealing with murder and blackmail. But the real mystery becomes, exactly who is conning who? This is a quick read -- only 170 pages and it is a paperback-sized hard cover. It’s translated from the French, but there is little local color --- it’s focused on the country club set and it could just as well take place in LA. It’s a good story with easy-flowing l...more
I don't know a lot about noir fiction or film, but this strikes me as a solid exemplar of that style. The length of the sentences was distracting, but it also lends a breathless inevitability to the plot. Not a terribly remarkable book, in my view, but atmospheric.