***Short-listed for the Prix Renaudot and Prix de Flore***
***One of Chronicart's top ten books of 2010***
In The Disappearance of Emilie Brunet, critically acclaimed author Antoine Bello has written a tribute to Agatha Christie that is a classic, hardboiled detective novel reminiscent of the psychological thriller movie Memento.
Achille Dunot retired from his career as a police inspector after an accident left him with partial amnesia and short-term memory loss. One of his ex-colleagues, unaware of his condition, asks for help in a new case involving Emilie Brunet, an heiress who did not return home from a hike with her lover. Her husband, Claude Brunet, a famous neuroscientist—and philanderer—is the prime suspect in the case. Brunet, however, is in the hospital, having been beaten by the police officer on duty the night he reported his wife's disappearance.
Intrigued by Brunet's personality, Dunot decides to take the case when he hears that Brunet has lost all of his memory of the day his wife went missing. To work around his own memory problems, Dunot decides to write the steps of his investigation each evening and reread them the next morning. When Dunot and Brunet first meet, Brunet tacitly admits that he committed the perfect crime, and dares Dunot to prove his guilt. For a hard-core fan of Agatha Christie like Dunot, this is the perfect opportunity to test the investigatory methods of the queen of crime. But in this case, the detective is not only the hero, but also the reader and the author of this highly original and delightfully unexpected detective novel. Hercule Poirot might have found his match!
The Disappearance of Emilie Brunet is both a whodunit and a literary critique of Agatha Christie's detective novels. A marvelous read for lovers of English-style mysteries.