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If you want to be part of the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge, it is never too late to start. You can now join the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge too, just click HERE.

Read at your own pace, write a review on your blog, go to the Carnival collecting space and put in the URL, your details, and a comment about the post. The October edition of the Carnival will be posted on October 23, so get your submissions in by October 22.

Don’t know where to start? May I suggest a visit to John Curran’s Top 10 AC titles, alternatively the top ten books at Agatha Christie Website. But if you have a different view and want to tell me your favourite titles please feel free to do so in a comment to this post. I would like to hear from you.

Affairs of State by Dominique Manotti

The blurb reads:

Dominique Manotti is back on form with a tale of intrigue and corruption. A call-girl whose black book lists her elite international client is found murdered in an underground garage; a plane bound for Iran laden with illegal arms disappears from the skies over Turkey, and the president’s closest advisor Bornard, head of a controversial Elysée security unit, manipulates the system with consummate ease – and illegality. Until the day when rookie investigator Noria Ghozali determines to untangle the threads which bind these events together. In doing so she penetrates the Elysée’s innermost system, confronts the workings of money and corruption within government, and in the process is forced to combat the institutional – and overt – racism which repeatedly stalls her.

I’ve practically read this political thriller in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. An amazing book and a very enjoyable reading. This was the first novel I’ve read by Dominique Manotti, but, hopefully, it won’t be the last one. A very interesting author to follow closely. Some snippets from this book just to open your appetite:

Embargos never prevented arms from being sold, they just make them more expensive, and the profits are higher.’ (page 29).

‘Once and for all, politics has definitively become a network of personal friendships; the politically correct attitude that the left is left-wing and the right is right-wing – that’s pure naivety, and, with age, he is finding it harder and harder to act as if he believes in any of it.’ (page 75).

‘A prostitute and a pimp protected by the police; a suspect who’s in the pay of the Intelligence Service; a murder committed with a weapon that might be a service weapon … don’t you find inspector, that this case is likely to turn into a can of worms?’ (page 100).

Dominique Manotti is a professor of nineteenth-century economic history in Paris. She is the author of a number of novels including Rough Trade (winner of the French Crime Writers’ Association Award), Dead Horsemeat (shortlisted for the 2006 Duncan Lawrie International Dagger Award) and Lorraine Connection (winner of the 2008 CWA Duncan Lawrie International Dagger Award and nominated for the 2008 ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards).

Arcadia Books

FantasticFiction

Dominique Manotti Website (in French)

Affairs of State has been reviewed by Maxine at Petrona, Glenn at Internationals Noir Fiction, Norman at Crime Scraps, and Damian Kelleher. Sixty seconds an interview with Dominique Manotti…

Affairs of State inspired the film ‘Une Affaire d’Etat’ (2009). Directed by Eric Valette. Written by Alexandre Charlot & Franck Magnier. Starring André Dussollier, Rachida Brakni, Thierry Frémont & Christine Boisson. French release date 25 November, 2009. IMDb.

Dominique Manotti

Affairs of State

Original title: Nos fantastiques années fric, 2001.

Translated from the French by Ros Schwartz and Amanda Hopkinson

Arcadia Books, 2009

Number of pages: 206

ISBN: 978-1-906413-49-1.