cover image Too Close to the Edge

Too Close to the Edge

Pascal Garnier, trans. from the French by Emily Boyce. Gallic, $13.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-910477-25-0

Éliette Vélard, the 64-year-old heroine of this sly noir from Garnier (Boxes), has sold her flat in Paris and moved to the country house in the south of France that she used to share with her late husband. She has two grown children to look after her, as well as solicitous neighbors, Rose and Paul Jaubert. Then the Jauberts’ son Patrick dies in a car accident, and it’s Éliette’s turn to console her neighbors. Meanwhile, a stranger in his 40s, Étienne Doilet, comes to her aid when her mini-car has a flat. Éliette takes Étienne, who claims he too has had car trouble, back to her house, where the sex-deprived widow is thrilled to have male company. Unbeknownst to her, Étienne has a criminal past—and a connection to the crash that killed Patrick. Not even a surprise visit by a drunken Paul that leads to shocking violence can stop the determined Éliette from seeking happiness with Étienne. Some fine prose hints at the doom that awaits them (“They fell peacefully asleep, like two prisoners on death row clinging to the tiny hope of a presidential pardon”). (June)