Polars and comics are back

Is black literature overshadowing white? If the number of new novels is down, thrillers, thrillers and noir novels are multiplying like the days of the heat wave. Selection as a review of the troops.

1 Jealousy

By Jo Nesbø, Black Series Gallimard, 352 p.

If Scandinavian literature is running out of steam a little, some of its feathers are still part of the back-to-school top names. Jo Nesbø kicks off the sprint with an audacious collection of short stories, all devoted to the theme taken up in the title. Seven stories, including a very long one, through which a garbage collector, a novelist, an illegal immigrant or a taxi driver pass, all jealous in their own way.

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2 The Archipelago of the Forgotten

By Nicolas Beuglet, XO, 400 p. (published on 09/22).

The French thriller is doing like a charm, at least in its prints, with authors who have become very popular. Like Nicolas Beuglet who risks hitting hard with this new horrifying, paranoid and island thriller – the island, as a playground, has become his signature. Franck Thilliez, Maxime Chattam, Marc Dugain or Bernard Minier are already waiting for him at the turn of the new school year.

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3 The Lesson of Evil

By Yûsuke Kishi, Belfond, 544 p.

A trend set to develop? Come on, we’re betting on Japanese thrillers, and more broadly Asian ones, starting with this lesson of evil that ticks all the boxes of today’s pop culture: a story, already adapted to Japanese cinema and manga, around a very handsome and very nice but above all very psychopathic high school teacher, with hints of Squid Game and of Bullet Trainalso published in French at the release of the blockbuster.

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4 Marsh Birds

By Lisa Sandlin, Belfond Noir, 368 p. (published on 09/15).

Authors and translators are obviously not to be outdone, and every day there are more of them on the shelves of bookstores. A now fundamental trend that has definitely shattered the glass ceiling of the cozy and bourgeois thriller. Thus Lisa Sandlin, who confirms here the test of Bayou Samaritansfinds his pair of detectives including Delpha Wade, released from prison, and, above all, a breath of “Southern Gothic” less gendered but no less powerful. James Lee Burke, watch out!

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5 I Was The Sadorski Collaborator

By Romain Slocombe, Robert Laffont, 544 p.

There are good dark novels and then there are great books. Romain Slocombe, author out of category, writes bothamong others in its serial around the infamous Léon Sadorski, of which it seems here to close the second trilogy, that of “the civil war” after that “of the collaborators”. About to be shot, our inspector agrees this time to flush out the last Vichy moles within the Communist Party. Ultimate reversal of jacket of one of the most ambiguous characters of French and black literature, led by a Slocombe as poisonous as documentalist.

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6 Kills That Feel Good

By Karsten Dusse, Le Cherche Midi, 400 p. (published on 09/22).

If the soon-to-be-announced Netflix series finds the right tone and the right actor, the name of Björn Diemel, a mafia lawyer who seeks to both hijack his clients and achieve mindfulness, will not remain unknown to you for long. The first volume of this “contemplative thriller” comes out in French in any case. It mixes crime, coaching and inner peace and seems to be the best that has happened to German literature. from Timur Vermes.

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BD: between pearls and licenses

The comic strip season has nothing to envy to the literary season. On the contrary, she laughs: just at Dupuis and Dargaud, to name only the most Franco-Belgian ones and not even the biggest ones, 77 titles are published for the months of August and September alone! An avalanche in which two major trends seem to be taking shape (we will speak again).

On the one hand, the more mainstream, publishers who quickly “marvel” and become license managers – there are 1. The Death of Spiroua new Corto Maltese, a 2. Valerian as seen by… (published on 09/16). Sequels, spin-offs and countless covers with, beyond, the shadow of Gaston Lagaffe, which a Brussels court will say in a few weeks whether or not it can be taken over by someone other than Franquin.

On the other, the most flattering, a Franco-Belgian edition which multiplies graphic novels that are sometimes very beautiful, sometimes voluminous and always very expensive – palm of the return to Perpendicular to the Sun (Delcourt), first work by Valentine Cuny-Le Callet, 436 pages, 35 euros – all in a general atmosphere slowly but surely more feminine, or less masculinist. Even Bastien Vivès seems to have calmed down (!) with 3. Last weekend of January, a romantic comedy which is about to be released by Casterman (a few weeks later, all the same, a new volume in the BD Cul collection, released this summer…). In our own pearls, we will remember 4. Merelby the young Clara Lodewick, in a new Dupuis collection, the imposing 5. Keeping Two by Jordan Crane which is coming out in L’Employé du Moi, a new volume of the Eggman by José Parrondo at L’Association, the return of Alex Baladi to Atrabile with 6. Saturnine or a promising Revenge of the Librarians by Tom Gauld, at 2024.

Polars and comics are back