cover image An Accident in August

An Accident in August

Laurence Coss%C3%A9, trans. from the French by Alison Anderson. Europa (Penguin, dist.), $15 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-60945-049-6

The August 31, 1997, car crash that claimed the life of Princess Diana propels Coss%C3%A9's gripping psychological thriller. Louise Origan, one of three female managers of a Corsican restaurant, is driving home through a Paris traffic tunnel one night when a speeding black Mercedes scrapes her Fiat before crashing into a pillar. The startled Louise keeps driving, though she feels remorseful for failing to stop and help or even to report the accident. The morning after, Louise hears the news on the radio that the princess of Wales, her companion, and her chauffeur died in the incident, and that the driver's attempts to pass Louise's slow-moving vehicle apparently led to the tragedy. The guilt-ridden Louise's efforts to conceal her identity have fatal consequences. Coss%C3%A9 (A Novel Bookstore) does a fine job of presenting the inner torment of a woman whose momentary lapse of judgment threatens to consume her life. (Sept.)