The red, the black and the darkness

The hero of this very very dark novel is not a hero and yet he is out of the ordinary. Cyrus Colfer grew up in San Francisco among the Mafiosi, the beloved son of one of the most powerful pimp mothers in the country, Amy Colfer, who became the partner of Samson Edges, the godfather. “Samson Edges had ruled unchallenged over the fresh flesh of the city since the 1980s. He retained a principled influence […] in the coke, crack, and gun markets, but all of that didn’t really interest him. Samson Edges started out as a proxo for Jimmy the Hat and would end up as a proxo because slavery had always been his discipline at heart. ” His daughters, he had them go under the knife before giving them a new makeover and perfume them with Chanel N ° 5, his brand. Amy Colfer dreamed of seeing her son take over, but Cyrus had cut ties with the community since the evening when, returning to the Mission Street apartment late, he discovered his mother bathed in her blood, the plowed body of twenty- eight stab wounds, “His skin torn like a piece of cardboard by a furious cat”. At 15, he had lit a cigarette that she had always banned from smoking and had sworn, in front of his weirdly staring eyes, to find his killer.

“My first cigarette smelled like emptying intestines and tasted like my mother’s lipstick”, he remembers ten years later, the day when two cops come to tell him that a man who was looking for him has just been murdered in rat poison and that a photo of him was found in his pocket, teenager. Cyrus, who makes a living from petty trafficking far from San Francisco, decides to investigate, convinced that this man had a link with the murder of his mother and that he wanted to reveal the truth to her. But the task is anything but simple: an illness left Cyrus blind soon after leaving San Francisco: he travels with a white cane and a huge, affectionate dog called Angus. The hunt will be strewn with pitfalls but Cyrus will quickly discover that everything happened on July 4, 1987. What happened on this “day of celebration”? To find out, he will reconnect with the Mafiosi while agreeing to share his information with two cops in charge of the investigation. A true American noir novel carried by a beautiful writing and an antihero in search of answers and recognition which could very well end in a Tarantino film.


Alexandra Schwartzbrod

Gabrielle Massat The taste of my mother’s lipstick Editions du Masque, 480 pp., € 20.

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