Devoted followers of ZOOM STREET will be familiar with the late French writer Pascal Garnier. Indeed, Garnier quickly became one of my favorite practitioners of noir fiction after I read his short novel, THE PANDA THEORY in 2014. The author manages to blend eerie, atmospheric suspense with jolts of black humor.
Gallic Books has, for years, been treating American readers to superb translations of the author’s noirish novelettes in compact, uniform editions. If you’ve missed these stand-alones, you’re in luck because the publisher has just released GALLIC NOIR (Vol. 1), a collection of three Garnier novels. This is the first of three volumes and in addition to THE PANDA THEORY, it includes HOW’S THE PAIN? and THE A26.
I suggest you start with this collection—especially since it contains my fave—and by the time you’re finished you’ll be hungry for Gallic Noir: Volume 2.
As for the cover… my first reaction was: Aha!—a hook to lure beach-goers in search of JAWS! But then I realized the shark was a good metaphor for Garnier’s fiction, as the menace lies below the surface of the mundane, and a strong undertow draws you out… just beyond the lifeguard’s reach.