cover image The Front Seat Passenger

The Front Seat Passenger

Pascal Garnier, trans. from the French by Jane Aitken. Gallic (, $13.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-908313-63-8

Fabien Delorme, the protagonist of this exquisite noir from Garnier (Moon in a Dead Eye), returns home to Paris after a painful visit with his elderly father in Normandy to find the house empty. Fabien doesn’t mind the unexpected absence of his wife, Sylvie, from whom he’s grown apart. Then a phone message changes everything. He’s shocked to learn that Sylvie had a lover, Martial Arnoult, and that the pair was killed in an auto accident in Dijon over the weekend. When Fabien goes to the Dijon hospital to identify the body, he sees a woman leaving the hospital morgue whom he later identifies as Arnoult’s widow, Martine. Adrift without Sylvie, Fabien begins to stalk Martine, and gradually insinuates himself into her life and that of her older constant companion, Madeleine, with surprising, disastrous results. Witty prose (e.g., “Shit... I’m a widower now, a different person. What do I wear?”) will help win Garnier (1949–2010) new fans in the U.S. (Sept.)