The banner announces “Norwegian thriller revelation award”. Tantalizing. Until we realize that if The girl of the air “reveals” Randi Fuglehaug, it is that we feel the potential of the journalist and novelist who signs here her first thriller. The book starts with four women jumping from an airplane, executing their choreography and then opening their parachute. Except for one of them, which crashes to the ground. We then follow the investigation of journalist Agnes Tveit. Which moves very (too) slowly at first, until the action gets carried away over shorter and shorter chapters. As if, from slow motion, we went to fast forward. Unpleasant impression, here, of imbalance or of “I am in a hurry to get it over with”. Problem number one. The second being the characters: Agnès in the lead, they are for the most part unsympathetic. But the story is solid and the writing effective. The second volume of this series has just been released in its original version. Readers will follow, in Norwegian as well as in translation. Because promises there are.
The girl of the air
Randi Fuglehaug, translated from Norwegian by Marina and Françoise Heide, Albin Michel, Paris, 2022, 423 pages
A few weeks later Free fall of TJ Newman (Albin Michel), here appears Otage by Clare Mackintosh, another thrilling thriller that takes place aboard an airplane whose flight turns into a countdown. But where the first multiplied the clumsiness – without (too much) altering the (guilty) pleasure – the second attaches the reader to his seat and the temptation to unfasten his seatbelt will never be felt. Mina is a flight attendant on the inaugural London-Sydney flight. No stopover, 20 hours in the air. However, shortly after takeoff, she receives a message: if she does not allow a passenger to enter the cockpit to, one imagines, take control of the aircraft, her daughter will die. If the anchor of the novel remains Mina, whose terror is palpable and the dilemma, Cornelian, Clare Mackintosh (To let you go) skilfully changes points of view by multiplying the narrators. Many are passengers. Who is responsible ? Shock response as a finale.
Clare Mackintosh, translated from English by Françoise Smith, Marabout, Paris, 2022, 429 pages
The daily life of the brigade led by Inspector MacNeice becomes heavy as spring is just beginning. The body of a young woman with a broken neck is first found in a small bay on Lake Ontario, and MacNeice barely has time to examine her when her presence is requested at the scene of another horrific crime. : a man swaddled in duct tape literally explodes before the eyes of those who try to rescue him. Who were these people? Why were they executed? Are the two crimes linked? The plot is complicated, almost insoluble, but as usual, MacNeice and his team will methodically bring to light sordid bits of life and nameless injustices affecting beings who do not deserve them. Especially since the back cover already announces that an atrocity can hide another, even more horrible. A tough, beautifully constructed book (and rendered well by a solid translation) that highlights the profile of an endearing honest man.
Down to the marrow
Scott Thornley, translated from English by Éric Fontaine, Boréal “Black”, Montreal, 2022, 408 pages
The art of crime
Suddenly, a complete stranger in his sixties publishes two astonishing novels with a local publisher who is not used to publishing thrillers. In itself, it is already surprising, but the very last of these books is frankly very successful. Both feature the same inspectors from the Montreal City Police Department: the highly unlikely Inspector Bonneau and his assistant Lamouche. Improbable because Bonneau is the Quebec reincarnation of Inspector Bérurier, nicknamed the Swelling, the right, or rather left, arm of the legendary Superintendent San-Antonio. Bonneau is the very type of imbecile without manners and without intelligence, perfectly imbued with himself; he is fortunately assisted by a gifted young man barely out of police academy. Here they face a sordid affair involving half a dozen corpses, a French count transplanted to Redpath Crescent, a lover of carnivorous fish and romantic painting à la Géricault. Surprisingly successful.
JL Blanchard, Fidès, Montreal, 2022, 374 pages
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Four thrillers to discover as summer approaches
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