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  • 9781908313638_FC
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Publication date
10th March 2014


Gallic Books


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Jane Aitken


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US publication date
9th September 2014




The Front Seat Passenger

(La place du mort)


‘Avanti!’ meets ‘Misery’ meets Quentin Tarantino in this Pascal Garnier’s noir.

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It’s people like you who are dangerous, people who throw stones and turn away so as not to see where they land.

Fabien and Sylvie both knew their marriage wasn’t working. But when Sylvie is involved in a fatal car accident, Fabien is stunned to discover she had a lover who died with her.

Harbouring thoughts of revenge, he tracks down the lover’s widow, Martine, and begins stalking her. Fabien is desperate to get Martine on her own. And that won’t happen until he deals with her protective best friend, Madeleine…

‘A little bit Patricia Highsmith; a little bit Stephen King… and very enjoyable’ Claire Fuller, author of Unsettled Ground
‘Garnier plunges you into a bizarre, overheated world, seething death, writing, fictions and philosophy. He’s a trippy, sleazy, sly and classy read.’ A. L. Kennedy
‘A small but perfectly formed piece of darkest noir fiction told in spare, mordant prose … Recounted with disconcerting matter‑of-factness, this marvellously unpredictable story is surreal and horrific in equal measure.’ The Guardian
‘A dark, richly odd and disconcerting world … devastating and brilliant’ Sunday Times
‘Simenon’s romans durs as channeled through the vision behind Wim Wenders’ early films … It goes down quickly, and readily, but it hits at a place that will leave readers feeling uneasy for some time after they turn the last page.’ Brian Greene, Crime Time
‘The author is masterful at conjuring an oppressive, subtly menacing atmosphere, livening up even the most run-of-the-mill descriptions with wry philosophical asides.’ Crime Fiction Lover
‘It is this ability of Garnier to insert the ridiculous and the horrific in fairly normal aspects of life and turns of events that set him so far apart from his contemporaries.’ Raven Crime
‘Another short, dark, clever tale that doesn’t really go in the direction you think it will … The Front Seat Passenger can be read as a thriller, but also as a modern parable warning against the dangers of obsession and self-absorption.’ Killing Time
‘Addictive, paced perfectly and a lovely example of noir with a twist’ Liz Loves Books
‘It doesn’t waste a word – the work of a master’ Mr Hyde
The Front Seat Passenger is the story of what happens when people’s lives intersect after a tragedy, especially when those people already have their own dysfunction. It is a noir story with a distinctive French setting and some unexpected plot twists.’ Margot Kinberg
‘Exquisite noir’ Publishers Weekly
‘It’s clever and razor-sharp writing and plotting, with deceptive calm and innocence and naïveté, and then shocking, sudden horror. No question, Garnier was a master of his art, and a wonderful-terrible art it was.’ M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review
The Front Seat Passenger is a short novel – I read it in a day – but the story is unyielding in the madness of its characters … This is an ironic and darkly humorous book that I thoroughly enjoyed.’ Suspense Magazine

Jane Aitken studied history at St Anne’s College, Oxford. She is a publisher and translator from the French.


Pascal Garnier

Meet the author

Pascal Garnier, who died in March 2010, was a talented novelist, short story writer, children’s author and painter. From his home in the mountains of the Ardèche, he wrote fiction in a noir palette with a cast of characters drawn from ordinary provincial life. Though his writing is often very dark i…

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