The Paris Lawyer

( 19 )

Overview

This award-winning psychological thriller navigates between the sophisticated corridors of the Paris courts and a small backwater in central France, where rolling hills and quiet country life hide dark secrets. As a child, she was the only witness to a heinous crime. Now, Catherine Monsigny is an ambitious rookie attorney in Paris, working for a well-known firm. On the side, she does pro bono work and hits the jackpot: a major felony case that could boost her career. A black woman is accused of poisoning her rich...

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The Paris Lawyer

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Overview

This award-winning psychological thriller navigates between the sophisticated corridors of the Paris courts and a small backwater in central France, where rolling hills and quiet country life hide dark secrets. As a child, she was the only witness to a heinous crime. Now, Catherine Monsigny is an ambitious rookie attorney in Paris, working for a well-known firm. On the side, she does pro bono work and hits the jackpot: a major felony case that could boost her career. A black woman is accused of poisoning her rich farmer husband in a peaceful village in central France, where nothing ever happens. While preparing the case, Catherine’s own past comes back with a vengeance. This fast-paced story follows Catherine’s determined search for the truth in both her case and her own life. Who can she believe? And can you ever escape from your past? The story twists and turns, combining subtle psychological insight with detailed descriptions of the region.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A beautifully written and elegantly structured novel of a woman's attempt to solve the central mystery of her life, and several other mysteries along the way. It captures the reader from the first page, and never lets go." - Edgar Award-winning author Thomas H. Cook
"Full of surprises and twists that will keep you reading late into the night." -Cosmopolitan
"This is a suspense novel with an absolutely perfect atmosphere. The writing is subtle, racy, controlled. It is written with great art!" -RTL.be
"Everything in this book—the plot, the atmosphere, the characters, and the style—is perfectly mastered from beginning to end." -Echo
"The author has a distinctive style and an unsurpassed talent for delving deep into her characters' minds. It is a disturbing read." -Madame Figaro
"Reading this is like having a fever. The author takes the reader from dark humor to cold anxiety at a diabolic pace."-Notre temps
"The Paris Lawyer has a compelling heroine. She is a young attorney, working on a fascinating, mysterious case, but she is also a woman haunted by a tragic event in her own past, the murder of her mother. Sylvie Granotier interweaves the past and present with a sure hand, and her characters have a psychological depth which is rare in crime fiction today. This is a complex tale, skillfully told, that will keep you in suspense to the very end." -Patricia MacDonald
"A powerful, well-written thriller, but also a meditation on the nature of love and marriage, and whether we can ever escape the past and reinvent ourselves." -Crime Fiction Lover
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781939474681
  • Publisher: Le French Book
  • Publication date: 5/15/2014
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,173,915
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Considered in France a master of crime fiction, author, screenwriter and actress Sylvie Granotier loves to weave plots that send shivers up your spine. She was born in Algeria and grew up in Paris and Morocco. She studied literature and theater in Paris, then set off traveling across the United States, Brazil, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, ending with a tour of Europe.  She wound up in Paris again, an actress, with a job and some recognition. But she is a writer at heart, and started her publishing career translating Grace Paley's short story collection Enormous Changes at the Last Minute into French. Fourteen novels and many short stories later, Sylvie Granotier is a major French author. She has met with continued success, and is translated into German, Italian, Russian and Greek. The Paris Lawyer is her first novel to be translated into English. Sylvie splits her time between Paris and the Creuse.

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Read an Excerpt

One early afternoon, in all other ways like any other afternoon, her mother takes her out in her stroller, soothing her with a lilting mother’s voice. She tells her about the wind that sings and then softens in the branches and the swallows that skillfully skim the pond for a few refreshing drops of water before flying into the clouds in perfect circles.

The little girl does not understand every word, but she follows her mother’s fingers as they imitate playful birds gliding down to her face.

Then her mother and she will go home for snack followed by a nap. It is a reassuring life, where nothing unexpected happens.

They stop at the edge of the woods, in the shade of the trees. The little girl toys with the light, squinting to change the intensity of the rays.

Before the screaming starts, before her mother’s distant terror horrifies her in turn, before the panicked shrill pierces her ears, and the little girl takes refuge in sleep to bury an anxiety far too great for her to bear, her mother gives her a generous and warm hug, leaving her with the sight of the entire sky, and says, “I’ll be right back.” A final broken promise. Sitting as she is, the child cannot see the body, or what is left of it, sprawled on the ground, beaten to a pulp. Yet that moment of abandonment remains forever engraved in her adult memory.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 30, 2012

    A young Parisian lawyer offers to take a pro Bono murder case in

    A young Parisian lawyer offers to take a pro Bono murder case involving an African immigrant. To build the case for her client, she had to travel to the locale where the defendant committed the crime. What she unearthed was not the story of her client, but the discovery of herself. Everything she had believed was exhumed and evaluated before the case was completed.

    The book excels in depicting the subtle details of everyday life that we often ignore. It poignantly depicts the feelings and emotions of the character in such a way that the reader readily identifies with the scene. The translated version conveys the intent of the writer. It is a mirror of an excellent story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2012

    A great thriller with deep characters

    The main character is torn betwwen two places (Paris and Creuse) and two times (present and past when her mother was killed). It gives a real depth to the story and this complex character. I loved it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2014

    A look into the politics of law and lawyers. this is a dark stor

    A look into the politics of law and lawyers. this is a dark story about the slippery slope of love and law. The book looks into the ups and downs of law in Parisian courts. Catherine Monsigny is a survivor that has learned to out live the most horrific problems of childhood. she uses her knowledge of criminals and victims to help her solve the mysteries of her cases, and how she can piece together the events that have colored her past. 

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  • Posted May 25, 2014

    A young attorney from Paris, Cathrine Monsigny is hired by Myria

    A young attorney from Paris, Cathrine Monsigny is hired by Myriam Villetreix who is accused of killing her elderly white husband and who married her to stop her from being deported. The village this happened in was the same one that that Catherine's mother was murdered in when she was a young child, this has haunted Catherine all her life as she was there when the murder occurred. Catherine soon discovers that she may also be able to solve her mother's murder as well as saving her client.
    I enjoyed the author immensely and hope there will be more books translated written by her.

    ***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review****

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  • Posted May 19, 2014

    Catherine is a young lawyer who has just taken on her first murd

    Catherine is a young lawyer who has just taken on her first murder case.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't get far with this one. Perhaps it was due to the translation, but the narrative and characters were not very engaging. Then every other page was blank (possibly as I was reading an Advanced Reader's Copy), so I felt lost.

    Overall, a disappointing start.

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  • Posted October 28, 2013

    Not only a murder mystery, it's also elegant magic! Paris( Fran

    Not only a murder mystery, it's also elegant magic!

    Paris( France)

    Dr. Claude Monsigny regarded himself as the model father for his model little daughter, Catherine Monsigny. Catherine did not know her mother, Violet, who was brutally murdered as a young women. The gruesome event took place when Violet took her little baby daughter, Catherine, in stroller for a walk, never to return. He would combine the roles of both parents in raising her and protecting her against anything sinister that might possibly bring more harm to her. He made sure that a personal holocaust of Violet's memory would be executed in ensuring that his baby girl would never again be reminded of that day. Catherine was not allowed to ever talk about her again. She did not even know where her mother was buried. She did not even know about "Devil’s Wash, the place where Violet loved the rocks, the multiple waterfalls, the dark mystery and the crystalline cheerfulness."

    As a young adult, twenty-five-year old Catherine Monsigny was on the brink of her first big murder case in the Creuse, France as a lawyer. Gaston Villetreix died and his African wife, Myriam (N’Bissi), was accused of murdering him. The case could mean a first big break for Catharine and she was willing to leave Paris and represent the accused in her home village in The Creuse region of France. However, before leaving Paris, she was defending Cedric Devers in an assault and battery case, in Paris, and she started to get flashbacks about her mother and the day of her murder. It would become more frequent when she arrived in the village, which startled and upset her since her memories were dormant for most of her life. 

    She was just a baby, way too young, to remember what really happened that day. 

    Her father never remarried. He never could replace the love he had for his wife. She was the girl he was waiting for his entire life. He instinctively knew that she is the change he has been waiting for, his future raison d’être. He will be the answer to her life’s detour. 

    The following months would become a trial in more ways than one when she had to deal with two murder cases, her own love interests, as well as address betrayal, deception, secrets, suspicion and strange events. "Catherine remains calm. In any case, she has been reared never to raise her voice. Keep control. Stay calm. Emotional responses should be controlled, lest they overflow, heaving up debris like a tidal wave."

    But most of all she had to learn the real meaning of love. Was it a hide-all for everything that can go wrong? Or was there really something like unconditional love. She also, for the first time in her life, had to address the suppressed emotions and memories behind her mother's death which kept her jailed behind high emotional walls. "Brutal, unexpected death, when it cuts off one life, interrupts others, which are cleanly amputated, left without any follow-up, no conclusion , eternally connected to nothing."

    Myriam "suggested that love is a luxury enjoyed by those who do not have survival issues". 

    But despite everything she had to face "she(Catharine) wanted to believe that love had other faces and that when her turn arrived, she would be loved better."

    "You build your house brick by brick, and even before putting on the roof, a catastrophe transforms it into a pile of stones, without you ever knowing who destroyed your universe one day or why."

    While reading this murder mystery, and psychological thriller, par excellence the thought came up that this story was the work of a professional, without knowing anything about the author. All strings were nicely tied and secured. The ending was unique. In fact, it was one of the most refreshing and original I have read in a very long time. 

    Thriller, suspense, emotional drainer, fast-moving, nail-biting. And finally you will understand what love really means. 

    Five stars for keeping me glued and awake and beyond thrilled! You will walk away happy, that's guaranteed! Not only because of how the story played out, how the elements were securely blended together, but also because it was so brilliantly written.

    Any adult, both genders, can read it.

    I will undoubtedly read this author again.

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  • Posted June 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was an incredibly compelling story that maintains that pecu

    This was an incredibly compelling story that maintains that peculiar sensibility that is utterly French yet eludes description.  While most of the more procedurally focused stories I have read flow between police and criminal, Granotier mixes it up and gives us young lawyer Catherine Monsigny enmeshed in two different storylines of past and present.   




    Lush descriptions place readers in the city of Paris or in the small village in the hills of central France. It is easy to relate to the small town feel: curious neighbors, unlocked doors and a bit of suspicion about anyone different, Parisian or immigrant. 




    Catherine is brought forward to defend Miriam Villetrieux for the poisoning death of her husband Gaston.  As an African immigrant, orphaned at a young age and brought to Paris for a position with rather dubious employers, her life has been a difficult one until she married the well-off and older Gaston.  Where I expected to see far more covert and even overt racism displayed toward Miriam, I was surprised to see evidence of Catherine’s difficulty in overcoming her own racial bias and tendency to jump to conclusions. 




    Catherine often seemed more immature than her position and education would warrant, her rush to conclusion without fully investigating people or situations was troubling, especially as she seems to lack that essential quality of ‘people sense’, and is a horrible judge of character.   I think there are two huge issues for her: the strained relationship with her father over his refusal to discuss her mother or her mother’s death, and her education and lawyer speaks tend to become her separation and protection from situations that are emotionally difficult. I saw her as lacking in self-confidence which she covers over with a more stilted and often overly complex speech that bleeds into her personal narrative because it is safe and comfortable.  I felt for her, even if I didn’t particularly empathize with her. 




    Other characters were as well-crafted and complex, with varying degrees of success and import to the plot.  While the book did require very careful reading as the present and past often collide with little notice.  But, as the more menacing undertones start to reveal themselves the pacing changes and the distinction between past and present is more apparent and easier to follow. Bringing all of the threads to one final conclusion, Granotier has pulled layers from the characters to expose their secrets and flaws up to the last pages, and created a story that was well worth the time to read. 




    I received an eBook copy from the publisher for purpose of honest review for France Book Tours.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Difficult to read. Some chapters are good, but some have paragr

    Difficult to read. Some chapters are good, but some have paragraphs inserted that seem to come from nowhere and don't identify the characters. Must have lost something in the translation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    First Person Fumble

    I did not like reading it in the first person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Unusual

    Unusual with many twists and turns.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Didn't hold my interest!

    Did not enjoy, didn't finish reading. Would not recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    good

    I enjoyed it, however, I think in its translation it lost some of the story. It was very good, worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    December 2012

    Would give 0 rating

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Adequate.

    This is not a terrible book, but there are many, many more interesting "international" mysteries out there for the reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Pretty good

    Enjoyed it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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