Pierre Lemaitre is talking at the festival in the session entitled France Noir – Le Roman Policier. He was not an author that I had read before as I must confess to not normally reading many translated books. However I was lucky enough to get a copy of this from netgalley so I had to give it a go. Well I have definitely been missing out.
Main character Sophie is working as a nanny to Leo. She finds Leo murdered but with no recollection of where she was at the time. She has already lost her husband and her mother in law and is struggling with grief. Worried that she has killed Leo during one of her frequent blackouts she goes on the run, and despite her failing memory she manages to outrun the police whenever they get close. The other main character who we meet through his diary is Frantz, and we soon realise that both their lives are entwined with terrible consequences.
This was a really good story. The character of Sophie was very intriguing, she was likeable but in the back of your mind was always the death of the little boy. It was one of those stories where at times you wanted to shout at her to stop running and just talk to someone. However whilst there were certain bits that seemed a little far fetched this didn’t detract from the story at all.
The two different viewpoints give the story an interesting dimension that I really enjoyed. When the characters begin to cross paths you know that things are not going to be what they seem but it was still a book that kept you guessing right through to the end. The novel was described in the introduction as the new noir, and this novel was definitely along those lines.
This book is a great example of why I love the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The festival encourages you to read books that ordinarily you wouldn’t necessarily pick up, yet often are fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Wedding and will definitely be looking out for his other work.