Lemaitre introduces a cast of characters who would be right at home in the Bates Motel in this thriller about a disturbed woman and the chaos that follows her.
Sophie is little Léo’s nanny. Or she was. Sophie suffers from memory lapses, and when she awakens from her latest one, she finds that the boy has been strangled with one of her shoelaces. Léo’s death is only one in a long list of tragedies that the young woman has suffered. She lost her husband following a series of terrible events precipitated by a car accident and her mother-in-law's death after she fell—or was pushed—down a staircase. But though Sophie is convinced she's lost her mind, she’s smart enough to know that Léo's death will send her to a prison cell, so she takes off. Soon, she's the most wanted woman in Paris. Like the rest of Sophie’s recent life, even her escape from the law isn’t without plenty of drama. Her suitcase is stolen from the train station when she asks a woman to watch it while she goes to the bathroom; then Veronique, another woman who had been sitting nearby, invites Sophie to lunch at her place because she feels guilty. After having some wine with lunch, Sophie awakens from her latest blackout to find Veronique dead, too. But there is much more to Sophie’s problems than meets the eye, and as she careens madly trying to escape the horror her life has become, another narrator, Frantz—whose path crosses that of the seemingly doomed Sophie—takes over. Told in four parts, the story of Sophie and Frantz is creepy, demented, and typical of Lemaitre’s crime fiction: unpredictable in a deliciously depraved way. Readers may have a hard time getting through the earliest parts of Sophie’s story, which are depressing in the extreme, but if they stick with it, they won’t be disappointed.
Atmospheric and chilling and packed with Lemaitre’s trademark twists and turns.