From the author of the “wonderfully ingenious” (Marilyn Stasio,New York Times Book Review) novelAfter The Crash comes a brilliant work of deception that dives deep into the psyche of a child and cruel game of manipulating a person’s memory.
Four-year-old Malone Moulin is haunted by nightmares of being handed over to a complete stranger and begins claiming his mother is not his real mother. His teachers at school say that it is all in his imagination as his mother has a birth certificate, photos of him as a child and even the pediatrician confirms Malone is her son. The school psychologist, Vasily, believes otherwise as the child vividly describes an exchange between two women. Vasily begins recording their conversations and reinterprets the creatures Malone uses in the childish tales he recounts to his stuffed toy to piece the story together as much as he can.
Convinced that Malone is telling the truth, Vasile approaches police commander Marianne Augresse with the case, who has been searching for a gang of thieves that robbed a luxury store and left a couple dead in the neighboring town of Deauville to no avail. Not knowing why a child would lie and with perhaps her own own maternal and protective instinct kicking in, Marianne takes Vasile’s plead for help seriously.
Marianne and her team soon discern that Malone’s memory is in the hands of those around him; the cold members of the Moulin family and the people that they associate themselves with. With Malone’s recollection of the past quickly fading to give way to pirates, animals and other more innocent thoughts children have at his age, Marianne is desperate to find a through line.
Well-crafted and showcasing the fragility of a child’s cognition,The Double Mother is a riveting investigation to follow.
Michel Bussi is a professor of geopolitics and one of France’s bestselling authors. His novels have been published in 35 different countries. He is also the author ofAfter the Crash (Hachette, 2016) andBlack Water Lilies (Hachette, 2017), andTime Is a Killer (Europa, 2018).
Sam Taylor is the translator ofHHhH, by Laurent Binet, and the author of the novelsThe Island at the End of the World,The Amnesiac, andThe Republic of Trees. He lives in France and the United States.
Praise forThe Double Mother
“Bussi multiplies the red herrings, tangles the plot strings, plays with illusions and subterfuge. He is the master of the trompe-l’Å?il novel.” —ELLE
“Bussi is back, with his breathless style, to give us something to chew over.” —Le Point
Praise forMichel Bussi
“Michel Bussi is one of France’s most ingenious crime writers.” —The Sunday Times onDon’t Let Go
“A work of genius befitting the masterpiece by Monet at its heart....Bussi cleverly breaks all the perceived rules of plotting in a story containing riddles within riddles.... But every loose thread is meshed neatly together in the final pages until the jaw-dropping big reveal at the end. The result is simply stunning.” —Daily Express onBlack Water Lilies
“[A] dazzling, unexpected, and haunting masterpiece.” —The Daily Mail onBlack Water Lilies
“Riveting! Bussi spins psychological suspense at its finest with this consuming tale of one child, two families, and the dark secrets that define us all. Clear your schedule; this book is worth it!" â??Lisa Gardner, #1New York Times-bestselling author ofCrash & Burn andFind Her on After the Crash
“After the Crash is a jolt to the senses and a jolt to the heart—both rollicking and labyrinthine, both wildly propulsive and yet rich with grand drama, and with a cast of characters—particularly its sumptuously powerful women—you won’t forget.” â??Megan Abbott, author ofYou Will Know Me
“After the Crash opens with a wrenching scene that will serve as the mystery’s terrifically compelling central conceit . . . sit back and go along for the ride . . . Bussi’s tucked a lot of enjoyable—and enjoyably surprising—pieces into his puzzle.” â??Boston Globe
“This fascinating tale of intrigue and murder delves into complicated family bonds as it builds to a surprising and shocking conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly onAfter the Crash
“Fast-paced and action-packed, this thriller is adrenaline pumping. Bussi offers a smart, complex mystery with plenty of plausible twists and surprises . . . An engrossing story that’s almost impossible to put down.” —Shelf Awareness onAfter the Crash
“A well-constructed literary thriller with a strong sense of place and deep understanding of human nature.” —Kirkus Reviews onTime is a Killer
“Bathed in the perfumes and flavors of Corsica […]Time is a Killer will be read with bated breath until the final twist!” —Le Magazine des Livres
“Michel Bussi’s psychological crime novels are beyond masterful.” —Le Figaro on Time is a Killer
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