The front seat passenger by Pascal Garnier
French noir fiction
Original title – La place du mort
Translator Jane Aitken
Source – review copy
Pascal Garnier was a french writer ,he died in 2010 .I have reviewed the a26 and Panda theory on the blog I have also read the other two book Gallic books have issued How’s the pain and Moon in the dead eye .So I come this his fifth book keen to see what it was about as I had enjoyed all his other books .This book was reissued just after his death and was originally written in 1997 and was his second novel so is actually the earliest of the novels that Gallic books have translated by him .
From the moment she had left them when Fabien was five ,she was always referred to as Charlotte ,never “Maman 2 .Fabien had never heard his father say bad word about her ,nor a good word ,he simply didn’t mention her .Like Dreyfus ,he had exiled her to a place in his memory as distant as devil’s island
Fabien had loss early on in his life .
The front seat passenger follows the usual Garnier trait and that is to take one point and expand it out in the A26 he took a couple protesting a road being built ,in moon in the dead eye it is a gated community versus gypsies .so The front seat passenger is the story of Fabien his wife is the passenger of the title that died in a car crash with another man ,in the man’s car .It turns out the man was married and the two of the were having an affair and Fabien didn’t know about it.But there marriage wasn’t great but he didn’t know about the affair ,Fabien has experience loss like this before when his mother disappeared but did this first loss leave a hole in this man ?He learns that the wife of the other man is called Martine .He decides to find her and have a look at her and then he starts to stalker her .Now Fabien is lucky he has a great friend Madeleine whom is trying to help her good friend stay out of real trouble .Well to see how this pans out I would suggest buying the book to find out what happens to Fabian .
Fabien was astonished at how fast he was getting over his loss .When he forced himself to think about Sylvie ,like an invalid testing the progress of their convalescence, he felt as if he were looking back on someone else’s memories .Perhaps that was what as meant by ” turning the page ” the blank whiteness of the new page gave him vertigo .So he began to darken the page by writing ” Martine Arnoult , 45 Rue Charlot , Paris 3rd
Has he got over her or is his grief taking a darker turn ?
Well as ever Pascal Garnier is shining a light in the darker place of the human soul loss ,grief ,betrayal .Fabian is shocked when he finds out about Sylvie his wifes accident and even more so when he finds she had a lover .The way he deals with it in becoming a stalker and trying to get some revenge this isn’t the usual way people would deal with this ,but this is the beauty of Garnier and his books the twists they take ,this isn’t the first of the last twist this book takes .The book is written in short chapter and is only 140 pages long so is one of those books that can be quite easily read in an evening . If you like your stories dark with a couple of twists this is the book for you .