Prioul était mort sous ses yeux. Avant d’etre journaliste, il avait été témoin, l’unique témoin.
Use it or lose it! This is so true with languages. I spent a year learning Chinese Mandarin and another year learning Hebrew, I have the certificates to prove it but not using either language since, I have forgotten almost everything. I don’t want the same to happen to my French. Last year of the twenty nine books I read, five were in French. I can borrow books easily from the Dumas Centre in Tbilisi. It is difficult sometimes finding something which will be a good read. French is the only language other than English where I have some degree of fluency.
Quai de l’oubli is a “polar” a crime novel set in Le Havre. The protagonist is Gus Masurier a local journalist who sees the first murder victim Robert Prioul shot before his very eyes. Gus is having problems at the newspaper as he is a old school journalist and has difficulty adapting to new technology, also his boss is in cohorts with the town hall and wants everything to be hunky dory with local government.
The murderer is a highly trained soldier with distinctive “Rangers” boots, but the motive for the crime is unclear and the murderer instead of escaping Le Havre hides in a rathole near the sea, planning his next act.
Two police officers are killed as the murderer attempts to cover his tracks, and the head of Gus’ newspaper with political ambitions, doesn’t want Le Havre portrayed in a bad light. Gus’ story is not published by his own newspaper so he takes it to a Parisian newspaper, where it’s publication causes uproar in Gus’ local newspaper, the editor in chief is apoplectic.
Le Quai de l’oubli of the title is Le Havre, once the destination of transatlantic cruise liners, with their glamorous passengers, Le Havre is now a port for unglamorous oil tankers and container ships…
This is Philippe Huet’s debut novel. His second novel “la Main morte” won the Grand prix de littérature policière.
My rating: trois sur cinq