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The Accident on the A35
Cover of The Accident on the A35
The Accident on the A35
An Inspector Gorski Investigation
The Accident on the A35 returns to the scene of Burnet's accomplished first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau—the small French town of Saint-Louis. Detective Gorski is called away from his night of solitary drinking to the site of a car accident that left Bertrand Barthelme, a respected solicitor, dead. When the deceased's rather attractive wife suggests that the crash may not have been an accident, Gorski looks closer into Barthelme's circumspect movements on the night of his death. His investigation leads him to various bars, hotels, and brothels in the nearby city of Strasbourg. At the same time, Barthelme's rebellious son, drunk on Jean Paul Sartre novels, is conducting an investigation of his own. Their independent, dual inquiries lead the reader down a twisted road marked by seedy back rooms, bar brawls, a moment of accidental incest, and—as we have come to expect from Burnet—copious amounts of wine.
The Accident on the A35 is a darkly humorous, subtle, and sophisticated novel that burrows into the psyches of its characters and explores the dark corners of life in a sleepy town.
The Accident on the A35 returns to the scene of Burnet's accomplished first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau—the small French town of Saint-Louis. Detective Gorski is called away from his night of solitary drinking to the site of a car accident that left Bertrand Barthelme, a respected solicitor, dead. When the deceased's rather attractive wife suggests that the crash may not have been an accident, Gorski looks closer into Barthelme's circumspect movements on the night of his death. His investigation leads him to various bars, hotels, and brothels in the nearby city of Strasbourg. At the same time, Barthelme's rebellious son, drunk on Jean Paul Sartre novels, is conducting an investigation of his own. Their independent, dual inquiries lead the reader down a twisted road marked by seedy back rooms, bar brawls, a moment of accidental incest, and—as we have come to expect from Burnet—copious amounts of wine.
The Accident on the A35 is a darkly humorous, subtle, and sophisticated novel that burrows into the psyches of its characters and explores the dark corners of life in a sleepy town.
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About the Author-
  • Graeme Macrae Burnet has established a reputation for smart and literary mystery writing with his highly praised novel, His Bloody Project, which was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He was born and brought up in Kilmarnock and has lived in Prague, Bordeaux, Porto, and London. He now lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 30, 2018
    Man Booker–finalist Burnet’s smart, sharp follow-up to The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau offers a “lost” novel by fictional French writer Raymond Brunet (whose anagram is hardly subtle), released by his estate after his suicide. It again focuses on the sleepy French town of Saint-Louis, in particular the titular car accident, which kills local lawyer Bertrand Barthelme. While the death itself is not a crime, the question of where he was that night—and every Tuesday, when he claimed to be dining with colleagues—drives his teenage son, Raymond, and local detective Gorski into separate investigations. Gorksi’s, set against his struggles with a crumbling marriage and alcoholism, takes him to a sexually charged murder in a nearby city. Raymond, meanwhile, finds an address in his father’s desk, and soon meets a mysterious and attractive young woman. While neither investigation’s twist is a shock, the real story is the two characters’ emotional journeys, exacerbated by an afterword suggesting that the two Raymonds (teenager and fictitious author) are one and the same. Burnet elevates what starts as a Simenon pastiche into something dazzling.

  • The Guardian "An accomplished, multilayered crime story set in France from the Booker-shortlisted Scottish author . . . . It has a denouement like something out of Greek tragedy but delivers as a proper police procedural."
  • Financial Times "Far more than most crime books, this is very much a novel of character--particularly that of the wistful but tenacious Gorski . . . with its nostalgic echoes of crime fiction of the past and elegant, economical prose, it affords a variety of quiet and satisfying pleasures."
  • Scotsman "It's slow, atmospheric, often surprising, with a denouement which is beautifully under-played. One should also say it is daring . . . enjoyable, a very nice piece of craftsmanship."
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The Accident on the A35
The Accident on the A35
An Inspector Gorski Investigation
Burnet Graeme Macrae
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