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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  29 reviews
« On ne sortait des Suicides qu'à la retraite, par démission, via une dépression ou en finissant soi-même avec son are de service dans la bouche. De ces options, toutes étaient souhaitées à Guérin, dans un ordre variable. Mais celle que personne n'avait envisagée était qu'il s'y sente comme un poisson dans l'eau. C'était arrivé. Résultat, le lieutenant Guérin flanqué de so ...more
Paperback, 283 pages
Published April 2009 by Viviane Hamy (first published 2009)
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I have not read a crime thriller as utterly compelling and emotionally powerful as ‘Bed of Nails’ for many years and, having been promised a unique crime reading experience by those lucky enough to have read this before publication, I would implore that you seek this out and prepare for an unparallelled master class in crime writing. A novel that metaphorically slaps you round the face from the opening scene of a harrowing suicide and a plot that continues to pummel the reader’s senses throughou ...more
Jim Coughenour
It's possible to believe, at least for the first few pages, that Bed of Nails is another quirky policier in the spirit of the Commissaire Adamsberg series by Fred Vargas – and then it starts to sink in: these characters aren't Gallic eccentrics, they are truly damaged. Guérin, the chief detective in charge of suicides, scratches his head so hard he leaves bloody scars across his scalp, while the suicide at the center of the story is a performance artist who spears himself onstage. The beautiful ...more
Filippo Bossolino
Uno dei più tristi romanzi che io abbia mai letto. Negativo, pessimista e quant'altro.
Trama un po' cervellotica, ma ben scritto
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Fakire ist ein durch und durch französisches Buch. Weder ist es das endlos weite Land der amerikanischen Prärie, noch die maßlosen Städte jenseits des Atlantiks, und auch nicht die systematische Ruhe nordischen Gemüts, zu denen uns der Autor mitnimmt. Fakire flaniert durch ein modernes Paris im Wissen um seine Geschichte und das immer knapp an einem Wutausbruch vorbei.
Es fragt nicht nach technischen Möglichkeiten, es zeigt keine ohnmachtsbringende Bestialität, es erklärt nicht die menschliche Un
Am Anfang war ich sehr angetan von diesem Krimi. Sehr gute Sprachfabulierkunst und ein Hintergrundthema, das sehr interessant ist, nämlich wie Menschen zum Folterer gemacht werden können bzw. die Auswirkung von Folter auf den Gefolterten und den Folterer gewürzt mit ausgezeichneten psychologischen, zeitgeschichtlichen und politschen Hintergründen.

Diese an sich hervorragende Grundkonstellation ist aber verpackt in ein Werk mit völlig abstrus entwickelten Figuren, die sich komplett ambivalent und
Au premier coup d'oeil, la couverture et le résumé ne sont guère alléchants. Et pourtant, ce roman noir, plus que noir, est divinement impitoyable, juste et captivant. C'est l'histoire, d'un côté, d'un lieutenant et de son adjoint, deux bras cassés confinés au service des suicidés, et qui commencent à relever plusieurs cas suspects sans véritablement mettre un nom à ce malaise. C'est ainsi qu'ils font la connaissance d'un trappeur franco-américain, appelé à la rescousse pour régler les formalité ...more
Translated from French "Bed of Nails" is rich in characterisation rather than story.

A rather bizarre crime thriller based around the death of a fakir of S&M. The plot-line gets lost after the second chapter but you are awarded with some beautifully awkward sub characters who become more important with each chapter.

The ex con we come to know as Bunker and his faithful companion, Mesrine are, for me, the most loveable throughout. Though damaged by previous experiences in his life, his nature
Sono devota lettrice di Fred Vargas, per cui ho fatto un po' fatica, inizialmente, a staccarmi dal modello.
Ma: proprio questa difficoltà iniziale ha evidenziato un fattore interessante, su cui altrimenti non avrei riflettuto. Perché è innegabile che esista una scrittura più tipicamente maschile e una più tipicamente femminile, e mi è parso quindi in tutta la sua evidenza quanto Vargas, pur adottando uno pseudonimo maschile, poi si sveli autrice da sé.

Abituandomi a poco a poco al nuovo 'genere',
Rob Kitchin
Bed of Nails is somewhat of a curious book - a police procedural that doesn’t easily fit the genre, with a misfit, and at times almost cartoonish, lead character. The plot is quite complex, weaving together different strands, which veers towards being opaque on occasion; it not always clear quite how Guérin is fitting his clues together or what exactly is going on. As a result, the first half of the book was interesting, but was not compelling. In the second half, the narrative becomes more enga ...more
VERDICT: Mix mental issues, social issues, drugs and corruption at all levels, and any human black trait you can think of, and you have Bed of Nails, a roller coaster ride into French crime fiction at its bleakest and most captivating.

Read my full review here:
• Richard Guérin, lieutenant au service « suicides » du 36, quai des Orfèvres, fait face à une vague de cas plutôt inhabituels. Un homme se jette nu sous les roues d’un camion ; un autre s’empale sur le squelette d’un cachalot dans un musée… Et la mort d’un certain Mustgrave, fakir américain, est encore plus suspecte : alors qu’il assurait le spectacle en se mutilant sur une scène parisienne, il s’est écorché jusqu’à se vider entièrement de son sang. Pour Guérin, il n’y a pas de doute : ces suic ...more
Well written (even though the translation seemed a little clunky on a couple of occasions) with an interesting if somewhat strange plot. I did not expect everyone to live happily ever after, but had not anticipated quite such a bleak ending.
Quite possibly the worst mystery/novel/ book I have ever read. The translation is a mess, and most of the book is filled with information that has no relevance to the razor thin storyline. A mixed up boring book.
noir police prodedural set in paris. the question is: does usa use S&M folks to "practice" their torture and black sites? of course they do.
Marina Sofia
Not quite sure what to make of it. It has been compared to Fred Vargas, repeatedly, on the cover, but that seems far off the mark to me - one or two eccentric characters do not a Vargas novel make. There is something appealing about it, the ending was quite moving, I did rather like the characters (a real bunch of outsiders, one and all). But the puzzle element was missing somehow. Not only was the case (or rather the multiple cases of suicide) never fully and satisfactorily resolved, but it was ...more
Relecture Septembre 2014.
I picked up Bed of Nail as part of my Paris in July reading and I think my lack of engagement with it is why I did so badly with my personal goals. The concept sounds good; Parisian suicide squad with offbeat characters and a talking parrot. Overall I found it a bit odd and there is an over use of “had” which makes the prose feel a bit clumsy. I don’t know if this is just the translation or the intended style but it wasn’t for me. A shortish book, I gave up at page 102.
Mary Clarke
Read this book during the summer and it has really stayed with me. Very different about a French policeman who is put in charge of suicides in Paris. The characters are so real and complex and lovely. Don't be put off if you think it sounds depressing ... it's definitely worth reading.
I've finished the book but am uncertain as to my liking it or not. The writing good but uneven, the characters are colorful and nice but not always believable or likeable. Was not the "New pope of French mystery" as announced on the cover (unless French mystery is in horrible shape).
Marika Oksa
Hieman erilainen dekkari. Ranskalaistunnelmaa, erikoinen päähenkilö ja hätkähdyttävä loppu. Fakiirit oli positiivinen yllätys.
Rachel Nowakowski
This was a fabulous but very unsettling book. Great storyline, sad and desperate protagonists. What an ending! Its well worth a read if you like bleak. I was shocked at the end but enjoyed it from start to finish.
Pas mal du tout. Un peu difficile d'abord au démarrage et l'implication des 2 histoires n'est pas évidente, mais ensuite c'est très prenant. Et noir, très noir. À ne pas lire en période de déprime :-)
Je suis très dubitative après cette lecture... je n'arrive pas vraiment à mettre le doigt sur ce que j'ai aimé et n'ai pas aimé.
Simon Zohhadi
Excellent. Brilliantly written. A real page turner. Becomes one of my favourite novels. Highly recommended.
Mark David
For me the only good thing about reading this book is that I managed to get to the end of it.
Laura Root
Like a mash up between Fred Vargas nd Ken Bruen. Dazzling and offbeat, but bleak.
Slightly strange French thriller with some interesting characters.
Skilly marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
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Né à Paris en 1973, Antonin Varenne n’y restera que quelques mois avant d’être enlevé par ses parents pour vivre aux quatre coins de France, puis sur un voilier. Il n’y reviendra qu’à vingt ans, pour poursuivre des études à Nanterre.

Après une maîtrise de philosophie (Machiavel et l’illusion politique), il quitte l’Université, devient alpiniste du bâtiment, vit à Toulouse, travaille en Islande, au
More about Antonin Varenne...
Le Mur, le Kabyle et le marin Bed of Nails Trois mille chevaux vapeur Allò que heu parit Le gâteau mexicain

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