Rider on the Rain

Sébastien Japrisot, trans. from the French by Linda Coverdale. Gallic, $15.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-913-54713-4
At the start of this outstanding noir from Japrisot (1931–2003), first published in 1992, Mélancolie “Mellie” Mau, a sheltered housewife who lives in a village on the French Riviera, spots a man in the rain who has just gotten off a bus carrying a red travel bag. The man follows Mellie, whose husband is away, to a clothing shop and then to her house, where he rapes her. She loses consciousness, but when she wakes up, she discovers her attacker is in the basement. She shoots him with her husband’s shotgun and dumps his body in the sea. Later, at a wedding, Mellie is confronted by a stranger, American Harry Dobbs, who seems to know nearly everything about her encounter with the rapist. Japrisot skillfully deepens the mystery of what’s real and what’s imagined as Dobbs leads Mellie on a journey to recover the bag and uncover the truth behind the assault. Incisive prose is a plus (“She speaks with the assurance of someone who would never permit even obvious facts to change her mind”). Noir fans will welcome more Japrisot reissues. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/30/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Open Ebook - 978-1-913547-24-0
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