“Sophie Duguet is losing her grip. Haunted by visions from her past, of her loving husband, who committed suicide after a car accident.
One morning she wakes to find Leo, the child in her care, strangled in his bed by Sophie’s own shoelaces. She can remember nothing of the night before. Could she really have killed him? She flees in panic, but this only cements her guilt in the eyes of the law.
Not long afterwards it happens again – she wakes with blood on her hands, with no memory of the murder committed. Just what is it that comes over Sophie when she sleeps? And what else might she be capable of?
Wanted by the police, and desperate to change her identity, Sophie decides to find a man to marry. To have and to hold. For better or for worse. Till death do them part . . .”
I am a huge fan of Pierre Lemaitre’s Commandant Camille Verhœven trilogy so this standalone book was a ‘must read’ for me. I was a little apprehensive as I wanted it to be just as good as the trilogy. I wasn’t disappointed, it was a great read.
Sophie has lost everything; her husband, her job, her chance at motherhood…and now she is losing her mind. She has black outs; nothing all that unusual there. But when Sophie wakes up from her black outs, there is always a body nearby and all of the evidence points to Sophie as the killer. So she comes up with the only plan that makes sense, and that is to run. Sophie never spends too long in one place, taking cash in hand jobs and doing unthinkable things. Before long she realises that she needs to kill off Sophie Duguet and start a new life; a new birth certificate and a married name, that’s what she needs. Or is it…?
This is a complex story with heart stopping twists and turns all over the place. You think you can see where the plot is going but then it flips itself over, taking you completely by surprise. It’s brilliantly written (as I have come to expect from this author) with short, punchy sentences and no messing around. My initial apprehension didn’t last long as I was drawn into the story and the familiar style of Lemaitre.
The characters are brilliantly drawn, full of intensity and paranoia with an extra handful of creepy for your reading pleasure! I did eventually like Sophie but it was a hard slog. There are very few characters to like but that is a good thing, as it’s a dark story about being in the worst place possible. The tale of one woman’s slow destruction and the external influences that conspire to create such a tragic state.
Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would. I found it hard to put this book down and I’m still thinking about it several days later. That, to me, is the sign of a great read. Very compelling, I defy you to not be drawn in to Sophie’s tale.
Four out of five stars.
Many thanks to MacLehose Press, the author and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Blood Wedding in exchange for an honest review.
Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne) was published in the UK by MacLehose Press on 7th July 2016 and is currently available in hardback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Pierre Lemaitre is a French novelist and screenwriter.
Awards: Prix du premier roman du Festival de Cognac 2006 pour Travail soigné – Prix Le Point du polar européen pour Cadres Noirs – Meilleur polar francophone 2009 au Salon de Montigny pour Robe de marié
Frank Wynne was born in 1962 and grew up in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. His father – with T R Henn and others – was among the founding members of the Yeats Summer School in Sligo in 1959, and was President of the school until his death. Through the Summer School, Wynne was introduced to literary figures (whose lectures he recorded with a tape recorder), among them Richard Ellmann and Seamus Heaney
After the demise of Deadline in 1994-5, in part through the badly received film version of Tank Girl, he worked for a time as editorial director of AOL UK.
“I was employee number seven in AOL UK. I went from being the youngest person in every company I had worked for to being the second-oldest person in AOL.”
After he left AOL, he began translating the works of Michel Houellebecq. He now dedicates his time fully to writing and translations.