The Front Seat Passenger

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A life caught in its brief, uneventful best is how The Front Seat Passenger by Pascal Garnier starts. Fabien returns home from an ordinary, albeit dull, three-day weekend spent with his uncommunicative father. He opens a beer and putters around his empty home. His wife’s not around and, as casually as one does, he presses the button to listen to the answering machine messages: one from his friend, one from her friend, and one from the police. Fabien’s uneventful life ends there. His wife is one of two fatalities in a car accident. The other fatality? His wife’s lover. In the wake of his wife’s death, Fabien moves in with his friend. No longer living alone, new domestic distractions don’t stop Fabien from obsessing about the accident. This is when Garnier’s skill as a novelist comes through. We watch—almost holding our collective breaths—as the cuckolded husband starts secretly following Martine, the widow of Fabien’s wife’s lover, and her overly protective friend. The events that occur after Fabien’s obsession is discovered make the car accident seem lighthearted. Garnier takes us to a dark place relatively quickly, but we remain enthralled by Fabien and his strange new world.


Reviewed By:

Author Pascal Garnier, Jane Aitken, Translator
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 144 pages
Publisher Gallic Books
Publish Date 2014-Sep-09
ISBN 9781908313638
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2015
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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