Original title: Cinabre

Author: Druart, Nicolas

Publication Date:

March 2022



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Crime & Thrillers


Original title: Cinabre

Author: Druart, Nicolas


With Cinabre, Nicolas Druart writes a frantic, accomplished thriller with fluid and mature writing. — Anthony Assémat, Côté Toulouse & La Voix du Midi

A blood-red thriller, a masterly suspense… An excellent thriller, dark and spellbinding. — Yves Gabay, La Dépêche du Midi

There is some Shining and The House of Usher in there. Maxime Chattam as well. … The flirtation with the fantastic plays beautifully with our nerves, we’re quickly in the midst of so much mystery. — Julie Maulaure, Le Point

Intertwining legends, pop culture and real-life events, with this fourth book, Nicolas Druart serves up a grippingly over-the-top thriller. Delightfully entertaining.

Cinnabar is the color of the fanciest hotel in Toulouse, a velvet vise for a wealthy clientele. It’s a deep, blood-red hue. Hôtel Ferdinand was the scene of a quadruple homicide back in the 1980s. The director of the hotel, Eugène Ferdinand, murdered his entire family before being killed by the police. His entire family except for Richard, the baby, who miraculously survived. Richard himself decides to re-open for business thirty years later… But even major renovation work can’t erase a reputation as sulfurous as that!

The Kings of Spades are a group of six nursing-school classmates who fled the hospital environment to open their own practices. When one of them disappears after having cared for a client at Hôtel Ferdinand, no one seems to take notice. Only Elliot Akerman, a sensitive and uncompromising nurse, will try to find him.

In the meantime, the city of Toulouse is living in fear of the “saber killer” who decapitates his victims with a sword. Is he alone? Who should feel threatened? For Police Captain Aubert and his team, it’s the beginning of an endless battle against a hydra veiled by sheets of blood.

Nicolas Druart is cleary one of the most prominent members of the next generation of French thriller writers.

Marketing Information

  • Selected for the Prix Maison de la Presse 2022
  • Selected for the Prix Midi 2022
  • L’Enclave sold 3,000 copies and won the Embouchure Prize
  • Jeu de dames sold 9,000 copies