Nicolas Laquerrière transforms his native “9-4” into a fascinating kingdom of asphalt and steel and makes it the setting for a gritty and thrilling urban tale. — Léonard Desbrières, LiRE Magazine
A fiery novel. — Mathias Enard, France Culture
A hellish pace. — Hubert Artus, Le Parisien WE
Funny, desperate, modern, and intelligent. — France Bleu
Introducing an explosive new urban voice and a rogues’ gallery of unforgettable characters. A wild page-turner of an odyssey through the 9-4, code numbers that identify an overlooked territory on the outskirts of Paris.
Who really knows the 9-4, the overlooked territory just south-east of Paris, stuck between its attention-grabbing neighbours, the wealthy 9-2 and the infamous 9-3? Who really knows the people who live and get by there? And above all, who knows its inverted reflection, the 9-4 within the 9-4, the nueve cuatro? A wonderland inhabited by lost souls, drug lords, pimps, wild beasts and all the extraordinary stories that go with them.
Among them: Henri, a retired accountant who lost his wife, and then a toe to diabetes. His daily life has been flowing along smoothly enough, until the day his neighbour Clara suddenly disappears. Soulaymane, a debt collector who’s just getting by, used to dream of becoming a cop. Trying to find the young woman is exactly what he needs to get his heart beating again. And finally, Brahim, the nueve cuatro’s crime lord. His reign seems eternal, but is he starting to lose it? He’d be more than happy to burn his town to the ground in order to go out in style.
Not all of the characters have the outsized ego required to want to leave their mark on history, but with the disappearance as a catalyst, they will all experience an epic adventure.
A dark odyssey and urban tale suffused with wild humanity, Nueve Cuatro offers a view of the working-class, immigrant suburbs like no other. An explosive new voice is born.
- Validé was the second most-watched series on French TV in 2020.
- Co-published with Wagram Livres.
- Reminiscent of Brautigan, Manchette, Louatah, Audiard and others.