The Pit of Souls
Original title: La Fosse aux âmes
An extraordinary man and writer – Joël Dicker, author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
Leaving the quixotic, chaotic realm of organized crime, Christophe Molmy dove into literature. Plunged into the midst of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris as the head of the BRI (Search and Intervention Brigade), six years later, he has transformed that collective and personal trauma into a literary theme. He has always refused to publish an account of his activities as a cop during the events. Professional ethics and writer’s choice. The lethal terrorist attack that opens the novel is clearly reminiscent of the one on the Bataclan theatre. But the subject of the book lies elsewhere: how a survivor of the horror perches on the cusp between holding himself together and sliding into madness.
Fabrice is a coward. So he goes to the movies with his girlfriend, Juliette, without finding the nerve to tell her what’s been preying on him for a while: he doesn’t love her any more, and hasn’t for quite some time. Maybe he’ll find the wherewithal to speak his mind after the movie… But in the theatre, a startling soundtrack superimposes itself on the one that accompanies the romantic comedy they came to see. Thunderous blasts, like the strings of firecrackers you hear on Bastille Day. Moviegoers stand up, then fall back down. Bodies riddled with gunshot wounds. It’s a terrorist attack. It lasts a few minutes. It lasts an eternity. When it’s finally over, Fabrice is one of the few who stands up. Juliette lies at his feet. He is the widower of a woman he no longer loved.
So begins the aimless wandering of one who survived when so many others died. The one who finds in the female police officer who interrogates him a beam of light he can cling to. A love story like a life drive.
But fate has it in for him, and the police officer disappears. He is Suspect Number One. Laying low for a while would be the thing to do, but Fabrice hasn’t got a clue how to go about it. Neither how to hide, nor how to run away. Nor how to rebuild a life that has been blasted to smithereens.
• A literary transposition of the attack on the Bataclan, during which Molmy was in charge of the Anti-Gang Brigade strike force.
• Sept 2021: Start of the trial of those involved in the November 13, 2015 attacks; Christophe Molmy will be a star witness. Massive media coverage will ensue (itvs on BFM, AFP, M6, C8, etc.).
• Birth of the “Onyx” collection, devoted to true gems of crime fiction, which is being inaugurated with this novel. An alter ego to the “Rubis” (Ruby) collection; together they compose the complex and fascinating face of contemporary literature.