cover image Framed


Tonino Benacquista, , trans. from the French by Adriana Hunter. . Bitter Lemon, $14.95 (198pp) ISBN 978-1-904738-16-9

French author Benacquista (Holy Smoke ) delivers another darkly comic crime novel. His eccentric narrator, Antoine, supports his love of playing billiards with a day job hanging paintings at a Paris art gallery. When Antoine interrupts an intruder in the midst of vandalizing an abstract work by an obscure painter, Etienne Morand, the man topples a heavy sculpture on Antoine, crushing his right hand. The loss of his hand further warps Antoine's already idiosyncratic personality and leads him on a quest for his assailant that involves several corpses and suspicions that there may not have been a real artist named Morand. The author's familiarity with the European art world lends plausibility to the fraud plot, while the unusual main character makes a refreshing change from the stock hero of so much genre fiction. (July)