cover image Consequences


Philippe Djian, trans. from the French by Bruce Benderson. Simon & Schuster, $16 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-4516-0759-8

Most readers should have no problem accepting the implausible premise of this wonderfully trashy stand-alone from Djian (Unforgivable). Marc, a creative-writing professor at a rural French university, has discovered one of the great perks of the job: the easy availability of willing young women. One evening he picks up a 23-year-old student, Barbara, and takes her back to his house, which he shares with his sister, Marianne. The next morning he discovers Barbara dead. After disposing of her body, Marc tries to resume his life. His reputation for seducing his female students is well-known on campus, but the lothario raises eyebrows when he becomes romantically involved with Barbara’s 46-year-old stepmother, Myriam. As he becomes more attached to Myriam—and as Marianne becomes involved with the head of the university’s literature department—tensions at home rise. The action builds to an explosive ending, and Marc must confront his relationship with his sister and their troubled past. Agent: Jeff Posternak, Wylie Agency. (Sept.)