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


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.

5 thoughts on “Affairs of State by Dominique Manotti”

  1. >José Ignacio – Thanks for this excellent review. It seems that this book gives a very clear-eyed and cynical view of the way "politics as usual" works. Very, very interesting!!

  2. >I must stop reading reviews of this book and actually read the book. It's sitting on my shelves begging to be read I just need to fit it into the lineup..from your excellent review it sounds like I should have read it during my immersion in all things political earlier this year.

  3. >I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Jose Ignacio, I thought it was very exciting and compulsive also. I just checked out the movie, thanks for the link. It is not available as a DVD yet, according to Amazon, but I shall try to remember to look again sometime as I'd love to watch it (if a subtitled version comes out).I've also read one of her previous books, Rough Trade, which I enjoyed but not quite as much as this one. I do hope sheh writes another about Noria, who is a great character but I was disappointed that she did not feature in this novel a bit more, especially the second half.

  4. >Margot, Bernadette thanks for your comments, a great book in my opinion. I have scheduled to read 'Lorraine Connection' next.Maxine, I should have add that thanks to your review I was very much interested in reading this book. Certainly I was a bit dissapointed also for the minor role of Noria dispait the cover. A great character. Reminds me a bit of Emily Tempest. BTW What a great book!!!

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