A high school reunion on the Côte d'Azur brings together murderers who haven't spoken to each other in years.
The latest novel to be published in English by France's No. 1 bestselling author, Musso (The Girl on Paper, 2012, etc.), features Thomas Degalais, a bestselling French author. Perhaps this is why Musso feels compelled to reveal in an author's note at the end of the book that he personally has never walled up a body in the gym. Many others in this book have, and now that gym is slated for demolition as part of a new building initiative at the school. Ruh-roh, to quote Scooby Doo via Felicity Huffman. The mystery aspect of this novel is ridiculous to say the least—based on unbelievable premises and getting crazier all the time, as both the dead bodies and responsible parties pile up. The main reason to read this novel is to marvel at the amazing conglomeration of American and French pop-culture knowledge that the average French reader must have at his or her fingertips. While one character has "become a Laura Palmer-like character in a remake of Twin Peaks set on the Côte d'Azur," others look "a little like Lauryn Hill when she was with the Fugees" or "Jeremiah Johnson in pursuit of a ghostly grizzly bear." Still another is "like an American," because "he brazenly flaunted his success" and "bragged about the merits of his Tesla." Ouch! Just as fast and thick come references to French writers, music, fashions, and celebrities that will be inscrutable to most American readers but add a little Gallic je ne sais quoi. Somehow, amid the mayhem, the suspense, and the ongoing pop-culture avalanche, there's time for a few profound philosophical observations of the sort one would hope for from a (modest, Tesla-free) Frenchman. "Passion is a no-man's-land, a bombed out warzone situated somewhere at the intersection of sorrow, madness and death." Tell it, brother.