The Drowning Victims of the Clain

Original title: Les noyés du Clain

Author: Solano, Thibaut

Publication Date:

April 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Robert Laffont

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Crime & Thrillers

The Drowning Victims of the Clain

Original title: Les noyés du Clain

Author: Solano, Thibaut


It is September 2001, just after the World Trade Center towers came crashing down. 18-year-old Simon heads to Poitiers to study film. He comes from a small village and his parents were laborers. To pay his rent, he takes a job as a journalist for The Echo, the regional paper.

His first story of interest is that of Vincent Lanvin, a student found drowned in the Clain, the river that goes through Poitiers. The rumor quickly spreads that the murderer is “Jack the Pusher,” the guy who’s deemed responsible for several unexplained drownings of young men all over France. He is also connected to a gang who kidnaps students and takes out one of their kidneys, as well as the sketchy white van that follows them around the streets of Poitiers at night. On campus, Simon dives into the mire of rumors and urban legends. But he gets too close to the truth and ends up taking a violent beating. For Simon, it’s game over: he leaves Poitiers in a terrible physical and mental state.

Ten years later, Simon is back at The Echo and returns to his investigation. He discovers that four boys and one girl have since drowned in strange circumstances. They were all students who were drunk or under the influence of drugs. A scandalous couple stands out in the line of suspects: the Diablo, a man with a crazy look in his eyes, and his partner, a girl with red hair.

Was it some rite of initiation? Role play? Sexual deviance that veered toward murder? Sacrifice? Or simply debauched murders? Haunted by the attack he was victim of ten years ago, Simon follows each lead and digs up every suspicion. With a knot of fear in his stomach, he questions past witnesses and families of the deceased, unearthing hidden connections and debunking rumors. And once more, he is burned by the matter’s dark truth…

Marketing Information

  • As an investigator and specialist in police law, Thibaut Solano draws on real newspaper stories to create a realistic work of fiction
  • Urban legends and rumours punctuate his investigation and stir panic amongst the population