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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the Man Booker short-listed His Bloody Project.
Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air.
When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl's disappearance, Manfred's repressed world is shaken to its core, and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past.
The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau is a literary mystery novel that is, at heart, an engrossing psychological portrayal of an outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.
©2014 Graeme Macrae Burnet (P)2018 Audible, Ltd
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Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rachel Redford on 04-19-18

Who's teasing who?


What an intriguing tease this is! For a start The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau isn’t Graeme Macrae Burnet’s follow-up to His Bloody Project (reviewed by me last year), but his first novel which never received much acclaim outside Scotland. It should have.

It’s a Simenon-esque murder mystery focused on the psychology rather than the act set in Saint-Louis, an undistinguished little town on the Rhine where loner Manfred Baumann has his lunch each day in the Restaurant de la Cloche whilst idly lusting after the amply proportioned waitress Adèle Bedeau. When Adèle disappears, the local detective suspects Manfred of murder, even though there’s as yet no body.

There are good reasons for his suspicions, but not the ones you might expect. The past lives of both Manfred and the detective are chillingly fleshed out, but just when you think it’s all about to be solved, there’s another clever twist.

And finally the real-life author comes in and says the whole story is his translation of a 1980s French cult novel by the teasingly anagramatic Raymond Brunet, and we get Brunet’s life which is uncannily like Baumann’s…

Puzzling, tantalising, intriguing, highly original, intelligent, it’s a top-rate listen, and the whole is enhanced by the narration.

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