Dark Mood 2020 – Culture / Next

More than ever, current events can be read through a thriller which, as Jean-Patrick Manchette wrote, is the literature of the crisis. This year 2020 has given a few examples. While Louise Mey denounced violence against women in the second woman (Le Masque editions), and that Frédéric Paulin completed his trilogy on the roots of jihadist terrorism with Factory of Terror (Agullo), two authors tackled the very current subject of the destruction of nature by man: In the mouth of the bear by James McLaughlin (rue de l’Echiquier editions), which we have already spoken about here, and Between Beasts by Colin Niel (Rouergue Noir). Colin Niel is a great traveler, he has located many of his thrillers in Guyana, a region he knows well. In recent times he has focused on mountainous nature. His penultimate novel, Only the beasts (2017, Rouergue Noir), we still remember, a harsh and savage novel that took place in the heart of mountains riddled with shameful secrets. An award-winning book adapted for cinema by Dominik Moll.

Between wild animals is another ode to nature. Beasts are as much men as animals, but the authors of thrillers know it better than anyone. These beasts are found in the Pyrenees where Martin, a radical and stubborn forest ranger, is desperately looking for the trace of Cannellito, the son of Cannelle, the last representative of a population of bears in the Pyrenees, shot by a hunter in 2004.

But they are also in Namibia where a young woman, Apolline, took it into her head to kill THE lion who is reigning terror in the country in order to bring back to France this trophy of which she has always dreamed. Between Apolline and the lion, then between Martin and Apolline, thrilling chases will start in the heart of nature and it is all the talent of Colin Niel to manage to project us as well into the steep paths and the gorges of Pyrenees than in the heart of Namibia and its tricky mountains.

Read also The other episodes of our column “Polar Thursday”

But 2020 is also the memory of the 20s of the last century when anarchy begins to point its nose in the face of triumphant capitalism. Director of the “Noires nouvelles” collection at Éditions du Caïman, Patrick Amand regularly offers collections of black short stories linked to historical events. After Omaha Blues (the Normandy landings) or News from May 68, he published this year It’s anarchy with a preface by Gérard Mordillat and texts by twenty detective authors including Patrick Bard, Laurence Biberfeld, Didier Daeninckx, Gilles Del Pappas, Michel Embarek or François Muratet. This is the happiness of the thriller, there is something for all tastes, all ages, all colors, all crises.

Alexandra Schwartzbrod


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