Les Âmes grises is a novel by the French author Philippe Claudel. It is a first person narrative which revolves around the murder of a young girl in a small provincial French town near the Western Front in 1917. The book was published in France in 2003 and won the Prix Renaudot. It was also shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Femina. The British edition, translated by Adriana Hunter, has been released under the title Grey Souls, while the American translation by Hoyt Rogers is called By a Slow River. (taken from Wikipedia). The Spanish translation, Almas grises, by José Antonio Soriano Marco is published by Ediciiones Salamandra, 2005. Stay tuned.
The Spanish publisher’s summary reads: December 1917. In a small town in Northern France, the body of Belle, a beautiful ten year old girl, appears floating in the canal. The murder raises many suspicions, awakens old grudges and shakes a social order that is crumbling. All signs point to the local prosecutor Destinat, a retired wealthy aristocrat, but the Judge found as guilty two deserters captured near the crime scene. However, the chronicle of the events, written twenty years after the incident by the man that was a policeman at that time, invites the reader to discover an unexpected reality.