cover image Dead Man’s Share

Dead Man’s Share

Yasmina Khadra, , trans. from the French by Aubrey Botsford. . Toby Crime, $14.95 (341pp) ISBN 978-1-59264-269-4

Khadra again proves to be Camus’s heir apparent in this searing prequel to his Algerian trilogy featuring Supt. Brahim Llob (Morituri , etc.), set in modern Algiers with its dual personality (“one that used to inspire poets” vs. one “where minstrels are locked up in jails”). Llob is dismayed to find his latest case involves a subordinate, Lieutenant Lino, who has become obnoxious, spending money he doesn’t have to impress a new girlfriend. Lino is devastated when the woman humiliates him in public by returning to Haj Thobane, her rich former lover. Lino is later arrested after his gun is found near the body of Thobane’s limo driver shot during an attack on Thobane. The pseudonymous Khadra (Mohammed Moulessehoul), a former Algerian army officer now living in France, expertly depicts a country succumbing to cruelty but buoyed by its people’s hope in the future. (Oct.)