***Winner of the 2008 Prix Biblioblog***
A vibrant literary variation on Flaubert´s masterpiece.
On March 24th 1846, at two o´clock in the afternoon, in the village of Yonville-l´Abbaye, Emma Bovary dies. She commits suicide by taking arsenic... at least that´s what Flaubert tells us. Philippe Doumenc argues that Flaubert made a mistake, that Emma is not this weak character who kills herself, but that in fact she was murdered.
La Contre-enquête takes as its starting point Emma's last words, "Murder, not suicide"that she whispered to Professor Lariviere on her death bed. Alerted by the doctor and his colleague Canivet, two policemen from Rouen embark upon a thorough investigation, which leads them to interrogate all the characters of the novel: the shopkeeper Monsieur Lheureux; the chemist Homais, the lovers Rodolphe Boulanger and Léon Dupuis, and Emma´s scorned and ruined husband, Charles Bovary himself.
The text reads like a thriller, with its rhythm and suspense. No character is above suspicion, yet all speak freely about their relationship with Emma. Doumenc's greatest gift here may be the new character he invents, one worthy of inheriting Emma's mantle: Marie, Homais' daughter.