Posts tagged ‘Gallic Books’

Book review: Hell’s Gate

Hell's Gate

Hell’s Gate

Let’s be honest: when I received Hell’s Gate from Gallic Books, who are so gracious to send me many novels translated from the French, I warned them I might not read it.

The reason being a few expressions in the synopsis that usually tell me the book is not for me: “supernatural elements”, “relationship between the living and the dead” (I am a Christian, and do believe in such a relationship, but the way novelists treat it is rarely compatible with my faith), and “a way he could bring his son back from the dead.”
On the other hand, the author was Laurent Gaudé, who won the Prix Goncourt for another of his novels, and I have actually never read this author! And I usually do recognize the worth of that French literary award. So I thought I give it a try and go from there.
So I started very hesitantly. So much so that at 50% of the book, I still was not sure I was going to continue! And then something clicked, and oh my!

Click to continue reading

Book review: The Sun King Conspiracy

the-sun-king-conspiracy

The Sun King Conspiracy

These weeks, I seem to be reading French history backwards: after a book on the last months of Marie-Antoinette, I read a historical novel corresponding to the time she arrived in Versailles, and now one about Louis XIV! This historical mystery The Sun King Conspiracy reads like a saga.

 

The first pages open up with a secret meeting in Rome between six people, one of them being François d’Orbay, one on the key architects working on building Fouquet’s castle at Vaux. Powerful chief minister and Cardinal Mazarin (also Louis XIV’s godfather) is very sick, and this time seems perfect to implement something contained in a secret document.
But this group has enemies, and the secret ends up being stolen, with coded documents containing two other secrets, all three potential opportunities to start a major upheaval against monarchy, at least the way it has been lived so far. Will the group manage to recover the secret and put their plans into action for the sake of France?

Click to continue reading

Book review: Under the Channel

under-the-channel

Under the Channel

A quirky thriller à la française.

Friday night in London. John, 45, is considering spending a week-end in Paris. But he hesitates a lot and drinks as he tries to make up his mind to go or not to go.

Working as an estate agent, John is well-to-do, but the Lehman Brothers scandal is starting a financial crisis. He seems to have other shadows looming other him, with his numerous encounters of male partners. Although he enjoys the freedom of having no permanent attachment, John also feels lonely.

Totally drunk, he finally takes the very last train from London to Paris. Midway Under the Channel, the train suddenly stops and all lights go out.

 

Click to continue reading

%d bloggers like this: