Crime Fiction on a Euro Pass – Lorraine (France)

Crime Fiction on a Euro Pass is a community meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. The idea behind is that participants write a post linked to the country of the week. This week’s country is France. You can visit HERE the contribution of other fellow participants.

The Region of Lorraine is located in the northeast of France. It borders the region of Alsace to its east, and Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg to its north. It comprises of four départments called Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Moselle (57) and Vosges (88). The region’s capital is Metz. Lorraine is one of France’s better kept secrets, an area of immense beauty with a very large range of tourist attractions. You can find additional information at Wikipedia and Lorraine’s official tourism website.

For an introduction to French crime fiction you can read Sue Neale’s article at Crimeculture and a practical guide to French crime fiction (pdf.) at Crime Time. You may also check my previous post Sue Neale: Contemporary French crime fiction – a search for the hidden with particular reference to Sous les vents de Neptune by Fred Vargas

However, as the title suggests, I have chosen for this post a superb novel by Dominique Manotti, Lorraine Connection, awarded with The Duncan Lawrie International Dagger 2008. The judges felt that: ‘Manotti seamlessly integrates a fine crime story with French provincial and national politics within the EU then matches it with an equally convincing grip on the characters of her northern landscape.’ I’ve just finished reading it. My review will be coming next. Stay tuned.

Synopsis: A factory owned by the Korean Daewoo group in Pondage, Lorraine, manufactures cathode ray tubes. Working conditions are abysmal, but as it’s the only source of employment in this bleak former iron and steel manufacturing region, the workers daren’t protest. Until a strike breaks out and there’s a fire at the factory. But is it an accident? Autumn 1996, and the Pondage factory is at the centre of a strategic battle being played out in Paris, Brussels and Asia for the takeover of the ailing state-owned electronics giant Thomson. Contrary to expectations, the Matra-Daewoo alliance wins the bid. Rival contender Alcatel believes there’s foul play involved and brings in the big guns led by its head of security, former deputy head of the national security service. Intrepid private cop Charles Montoya is called to Lorraine to carry out an investigation, and explosive revelations follow – murders, dirty tricks, blackmail, wheeling and dealing.