Bed of Nails

Bed of Nails

by Antonin Varenne, Sian Reynolds

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623651268
Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: 11/04/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 525,654
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Antonin Varenne has travelled a great deal and completed an MA in philosophy before embarking on a career as a writer. Bed of Nails is the first of a new series of crime novels set in the Paris underworld.

Sian Reynolds is the translator of Fernand Braudel, and of CWA award-winning crime novels by Fred Vargas.

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Bed of Nails 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
wordsandpeace More than 1 year ago
French crime fiction at its bleakest and most captivating 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. Quercus has graciously accepted to send me some of the books they publish translated from the French, and here is the first I am happy to present to you! Bed of Nails is a great typical French crime fiction, in the sense that it would be tough to get it more black. Don’t expect to be uplifted by French contemporary crime fiction, but rather prepare for a rocky ride outside your comfort zone maybe. That’s when reading becomes a real adventure, isn’t it? After some incidents in his career, police lieutenant Guérin ends up a specialist of suicide cases, and working a lot at the Paris suicide archives. The problem is, Guérin is not your typical police staff: hyper at all levels, looking totally nuts sometimes, he developed his Big Theory along the years and is obsessively convinced that there is a connection somewhere between everything and especially between all the suicide cases he has been in charge of. Chapter Two leads the reader in a rural area of France, to John Nichols, an American from San Francisco, living off the grid in the middle of the woods. He was just summoned by the American Embassy to come in Paris and recognize the body of his friend Alan from Kansas, member of the gay community and doing with drugs. A former soldier fighting in Iraq, he suffered form PTSD and apparently committed suicide during one of his S&M shows in a cabaret. And then you have lots of things going on among the police staff itself, with major jealousies and rivalries, and mysteries around a case Guérin seems to have dealt with very badly in his former years. Add to that totally insane painter and a shady character at the Embassy itself, and by chapter five, as a reader, you start panicking and wondering if by any chance you got yourself infected by Guérin’s disease and are in turn trying to figure out connections between all these leads where maybe there is none. So, is there a connection? If so, what is really going on here? I’m not going to give you any clue of course, I will just add a bit more of layers by saying that FBI and CIA are also part of the picture. The ride is black, really black, but it is worth it. Beyond the sinister cases, there are interesting sociological facts on suicide. To release the tension, the book is balanced with hilarious details and black humor. And if your sympathy does not totally to Guérin, you cannot remain detached from some other characters, for instance the American John Nichols, “baba cool, intello, perdu dans les bois” to use the author’s words in an interview. I personally liked the old Bunker and his dog Mesrine. After many years in jail, Bunker lives in a shed in Paris famous Luxembourg Gardens. A special relationship develops between John and Bunker. There were wonderful lines about Bunker rediscovering what true freedom is.