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ANDREANI AND COUTURIER (working title)

Éric Todenne (pseudonyme)

  • Original Title: ANDREANI ET COUTURIER
  • Publication date: March 2018
  • Publisher: VIVIANE HAMY
  • Country: FR
  • 276 print pages
  • Crime fiction/Detective novel

Information

  • Epoch: Mixed
  • Time Period: 21st century, 20th century, World War I, World War II
  • Location setting: France, Algeria
  • Themes: FAMILY, Family secrets, PEOPLE facing life, Search for the truth, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Manipulation, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, Death, Racism, War and other conflicts, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Intolerance

Pitch

An inquiry on the apparently accidental death of an old man committed to a retirement house, unveiling massacres led by French patriots in Algeria at the end of the ‘50s

Comments

Series. Book #2, TERRES BRÛLÉES, published in 2020.

Eric Todenne is the pseudonym of a couple writing together, a French husband and a Spanish wife, both based in Germany.

Summary

The novel opens with a scene featuring a massacre in Algeria during the war. Then, the narration goes forth to the present. Andreani is an old-school policeman in troubles with his superiors because he has killed a fleeing drug dealer he was to arrest. One day he visits his daughter at the retirement house she works at and learns an old guest named Mr Lourdier has died. The decease looks like an accident, but numerous incongruences lead Andreani to suspect it of being a murder. First, M. Lourdier has no social security card; the Spanish branch of the dubious French corporation Sogemines, a firm named Sogemed, has paid his rent for unclear reason; M. Lourdier has an odd tattoo featuring letters and numbers on his skin. Therefore, Andreani inquires. In parallel, another guest staying at the same retirement house, Redouane Slimani, dies. He is an Algerian man having experienced the war. The trail of Andreani mostly focuses on the links between M. Lourdier, the company Sogemed and its holding Sogemines, whose CEO is a member of the influent family Royan-Longuet. Thus, Andreani meets with M. Royan-Longuet, an hypocritical and not cooperative man, who explains that he has paid for M. Lourdier’s retirement house because the old man had made his family a favor in the past. It lately turns out that Lourdier and Royan-Longuet’s brother have belonged to the same squad fighting in Algeria in the ‘50s and the Lourdier has saved his life further to an attack, though Royan-Longuet has ended up committing suicide after being repatriated because of his injures. Nevertheless, M. Royan-Longuet Andreani meets hides that the brigade his sibling and Lourdier used to belong to - actually a paramilitary group created by deceased Royan-Longuet - was a very violent patriotic squad having committed massacres against innocent Algerians and French people supporting the country independency, on the purpose of fighting in favor of the French sovereignty in Algeria. Thus, it becomes clear that the tattoo found on Lourdier’s skin was the logo of that movement. In parallel, Andreani meets with the sister of Redouane Slimani, who confirms she and her family having lived in Algeria, including Redouane, have been victims of Lourdier’s and Royan-Longuet’s brigade at the end of the ‘50s. Thus, Redouane becomes one of the main suspects, but finally turns out being innocent, having only hit M. Lourdier on his head to take revenge after discovering he was cohabiting with one of his past prosecutors.

Reports on Book #1 and #2