cover image Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored

Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored

Philippe Georget, trans. from the French by Steven Rendall. Europa (Penguin, dist.), $17 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-60945-121-9

Exquisite Gallic ennui wafts through France-3 TV news anchorman Georget’s first novel, but it doesn’t prevent his appealing hero, national police detective Gilles Sebag, from ferreting out the twisted motives of an apparent serial murderer believed to prey on female Dutch tourists in Perpignan, a bewitching Catalan city rife with history and local color. A few years earlier, Sebag dashed his own career hopes by choosing a half-time parental leave; now, fatigued by the “sad reality” of being a cop, he faces the approach of empty-nest-hood, the possibility that the wife he loves is unfaithful, and the one-upmanship of a smooth young officer from Paris. Sebag, a marathoner as well as a cop who finds Kleenex more useful than revolvers, can’t get used to breaking his suspects into confession. His patient unraveling of both this tortuous case and his own malaise produces a crime novel très formidable. (July)