Book review: Moon in a Dead Eye – I love France #105


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Moon in a Dead Eye

Moon in a Dead Eye
In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
Moon in a Dead Eye
Pascal Garnier

Lune captive dans un oeil mort,
Translated by Sorcha McDonagh
US Publication Date: August 12, 2014
at Gallic Books

Pages: 127
ISBN: 978-1908313492

mystery/crime / noir

Source: Received
from the publisher


Buy this book

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

      books-on-france-14 New author challenge



new eiffel 4

When we think about thrillers and noir literature, we often think Scandinavian authors these days. Well, the French are pretty good at it too, and thanks to some presses specializing in French authors, anglophone readers are starting to discover them.

I am grateful to Gallic Press for sending me Moon in a Dead Eye, by a famous French noir voice, who unfortunately died a few years ago.

Like Yasmina Reza, another great contemporary French author, in Le dieu du carnage (The God of Carnage), Garnier takes a somewhat ordinary situation, with apparently normal people, and manages to turn the whole thing into pure hell, within just 127 pages!

Martial and Odette Sudre are the very first inhabitants at Les Conviviales, brand new retirement gated community. Then Maxime and Marlène Node arrive. The two couples get to know each other.
There’s also the caretaker, Monsieur Flesh, and Nadine, hired to organize activities as new members slowly join.

One day, Flesh is seen killing a cat, and little by little things are no longer what they seem to be: Martial merges too much his scifi readings with his daily life, and Léa, a new comer, acts crazy. The weirdness increases dramatically as they are informed that a group of gypsies has just settled very close to their gated community, and they all begin to get edgy and argue about anything and everything.

I will not tell you more, but it’s quite interesting to see how the author manages to have things escalate and turn a supposedly convivial place into real hell. Will they even survive and get out of it alive?

I really enjoyed the writing as well, direct, simple, down to earth.
Apart from the plot, Garnier does a fantastic job on society clichés, and the place of senior citizens and gypsies, two critical issues in modern France.

VERDICT: If you enjoy noir literature, why not expand your horizon and try this short mystery, with a tight plot and great writing.



Given the choice, Martial would not have moved to Les Conviviales. But Odette loved the idea of a brand-new retirement village in the south of France. So that was that.
At first it feels like a terrible mistake: they’re the only residents and it’s raining non-stop. Then three neighbors arrive, the sun comes out, and life becomes far more interesting and agreeable.
Until, that is, some gypsies set up camp just outside their gated community… [provided by the publisher]



Pascal Garnier

Pascal Garnier, who died in March 2010, was a talented novelist,
short story writer, children’s author and painter.
From his home in the mountains of the Ardèche,
he wrote fiction in a noir palette with a cast of characters drawn from ordinary provincial life.
Though his writing is often very dark in tone,
it sparkles with quirkily beautiful imagery and dry wit.
Garnier’s work has been likened to the great thriller writer, Georges Simenon.
Read an article by Pascal Garnier, describing his path to becoming a writer.

View all books by Pascal Garnier or discover more Gallic authors




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13 thoughts on “Book review: Moon in a Dead Eye – I love France #105

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  10. This book reminded me of the documentary, Welcome Nowhere, about the difficulties faced by the Roma community — on finding a place to call home and belonging. I wonder how the book holds up to that? Does it offer insight into both perspectives? Seems like a challenging social commentary for the background.


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