The Moment Before Drowning

James Brydon. Akashic, $25.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-61775-625-2
On Dec. 12, 1959, Capt. Jacques le Garrec, the narrator of British author Brydon’s provocative and unsettling first novel, returns in disgrace to his hometown of Sainte-Élisabeth in Brittany. He’s accused of committing a terrible crime in Algeria, where he has spent the last two years in the French army intelligence services interrogating Algerian insurgents. While le Garrec, a former police detective and WWII Resistance fighter, awaits trial, an old acquaintance asks him to look into the murder of Anne-Lise Aurigny, a brilliant high school student whose mutilated body was found outside Sainte-Élisabeth in a field of heather the previous winter. Le Garrec soon learns that Anne Lise’s father was a German officer and her mother was brutalized after the war as a supposed Nazi sympathizer. As le Garrec investigates further, he’s troubled by the memories of the atrocities he witnessed in Algeria and of the 19-year-old Algerian girl he was powerless to save. This is a remarkably assured debut by a gifted new writer. Agent: Bill Goodall, A for Authors (U.K.). (July)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2018
Release date: 07/03/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-61775-652-8
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