Victor Kessler Hasn't Said It All
Original title: Victor Kessler n’a pas tout dit
Two interwoven cold cases, confessions delivered gradually, characters the reader becomes strongly attached to: this novel includes all the ingredients for a magnificent page-turner.
Bertille leads a sadly ordinary life. Employed in a polling institute, she conducts surveys of little interest in supermarkets. Until this one Sunday morning, when her existence changes forever.
She approaches a client, an old man, who is carrying around a shopping bag and a piece of hand luggage, and serves him her usual verse: “Sir, it’s for a survey…” But as he listens to these words, the old man faints. While he is taken to the hospital, Bertille retrieves his belongings, including the strange shopping bag. She gets curious and allows herself to search it. In its lining, she discovers about fifty scribbled pages. It is a handwritten confession of a man, Victor Kessler, who was involved in a child’s death by drowning in the 1970s. A man who has spent thirty years in prison but has never claimed his innocence, never defended himself against the charges.
Victor Kessler has chosen to remain silent.
Bertille is stunned. Especially since this affair, which occurred in the Vosges area just a few years before the murder of little Grégory and which has had the entire country in its grip to this day, presents disturbing echoes with her own past. She decides on a whim to go to the scene of the disappearance to conduct her own investigation. What she discovers will awaken many secrets that have been asleep for more than forty years and upset the course of many lives. Bertille should have known: not all truths are always good to unearth.
After publishing a debut novel that was praised by 11 literary prizes, and a second novel whose rights were sold to 7 countries, Cathy Bonidan truly imposes her talent with this new title.
Reminiscent of best-selling authors Joël Dicker, Guillaume Musso or Michel Bussi, she has written a novel with relentless suspense in which intrigue and characters intersect until the very last plot twist. Vanished children and family secrets, lies and truths turn this book, set for a large part in the French Vosges forests, into an addictive page-turner.
- Under option: World English, Germany, Korea, Israel, China, Czech Republic
- initial print run: 10,000 copies