Saturday, July 11, 2020

#36: The Islanders by Pascal Garnier

During a frigid winter, an alcoholic man's estranged elderly mother dies, and when he returns home to her apartment he finds his former love (and her blind brother) now live across the hall, tipping over a dark past in Pascal Garnier's The Islanders.

Garnier wrote a lot of short, intense French noirs, often laced with dark humor.  This one is in a collection I picked up some time ago.  I stick a toe in only every so often as his books are often gruesome, nihilistic, and populated with unpleasant characters.

In this, we gradually learn that the ill-fated couple, as teens, has been responsible for the (perhaps inadvertent, perhaps not) death of a young boy, and escaped unscathed.  As they reunite, a young homeless man, and then a policeman, come to abrupt ends.

Garnier is a great noir writer and rewarding for the discriminating reader.

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