Published On: Fri, Jul 28th, 2017

Three Days And A Life review: Thought-provoking and unsettling crime novel


Three Days And A Life by Pierre Lemaitre MacLehose Press, £14.99 

People in the close-knit community are at a loss to explain how the young boy vanished without a trace. But for Antoine, the 12-yearold neighbour, it began with the violent death of Remi’s family dog.

Following that brutal act Antoine is left to wrestle with the consequences of his actions and the fates of Antoine and Remi are bound together for ever. And as a storm brings flooding and devastation to the backwater of Beauval, a seemingly inescapable net tightens around Antoine. 

This absorbing tale of guilt and regret is largely set over three days as the new millennium approaches, before jumping to 2011 then briefly 2015. Lemaitre reveals the killer’s identity by the end of the first chapter which should not work but does.

In just more than 200 pages he skilfully explores how a moment of madness can alter the lives of interconnecting people for ever and captures the claustrophobia of being trapped with a guilty secret in a small town where nothing normally happens. And people will take desperate measures to avoid a scandal that will ruin their family.

 We follow Antoine as he escapes Beauval to train as a doctor in the big city before being inexorably drawn back for an ending with a satisfying twist. Thought-provoking and unsettling, Three Days And A Life is another work of genius from a master storyteller at the top of his game. 


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