Des clous dans le coeur by Danielle Thiéry (Prix du Quai des Orfèvres 2013)

Thanks to Julio in his blog Mis queridos sabuesos: Blog de novela negra, I’ve just discovered a new-to-me French crime fiction writer: Danielle Thiéry. Danielle Thiéry won the Prix du Quai des Orfèvres in 2013 for her book Des clous dans le Coeur (Fayard, 2012) and it has just been published in Spain under the title Clavos en el corazón (La Esfera de los Libros, 2014) also available in e-book. 

Danielle Thiéry comes from a long line of Burgundy farmers. While at school, she trained as a counselor for troubled children, studies that first led her to be interest in law enforcement. She joined France’s police force and went head-first into the task, determined to show that women could thrive in this man’s world. In Lyon she was assigned successively to child protection, drug enforcement, and the vice squad, gaining notice for her success in these fields that had previously been closed to women. In 1976 she became one of the first women to reach the rank of Commissaire, an achievement that was widely covered in the French press. In the following years, transport security became Danielle’s specialty – working with the railroads police, airport services, and border surveillance –developing an expertise in anti-terrorist work. She was promoted to Commissaire Divisionnaire, the first woman in France’s history to reach this rank. After leaving the police force, Danielle was hired as a safety and security consultant for Air France, France Telecom, and France’s Postal Service. A French TV series was developed based on her life story and it was while she worked on that series that Danielle developed a passion for writing. She started writing thrillers – six to this day – for which she has received several awards. A fan of American detective stories and their dark atmospherics, Danielle’s books shed light on the real-life experience of police officers who see the worst of humanity everyday and depend on one another for survival. Danielle Thiéry is married, the mother of two children, and the grand-mother to four. (Author profile at Susanna Lea Associates)


Another Nail in My Heart

The blurb reads: There are cases that never get closed, crimes that never get forgotten, images that return time and again, haunt us, encrust themselves in our hearts, as a nail whose wound there is no way to cure.

There are cases like this that ruin the life. There is nothing to be done, they threaten you and stay within, planted in your memory and in your heart, as a nail that a maleficent joker enjoys touching at regular intervals. You think about it every day. It has nothing to do with theories about the impossible grief, or with the justice to the victims, neither with the search for a truth that should be given to the families. It is a mixture of all that, certainly, but that is a burden you must carry yourself. And you owe something to yourself. And you don’t know why. (My free translation)

Synopsis: Maxime Revel has been living a nightmare for ten years now: He is a single parent struggling to raise a daughter, Lea, who has been anorexic since the death of her mother. According to Lea, her father was off playing super cop the day her mother died. And he didn’t even solve the case. Then out of the blue, a new investigation —maybe the detective’s last given the permanent dull stabbing in his lungs— takes Maxime back ten years to the scene of the unsolved crime. New elements are soon uncovered… With the help of his devoted deputies —the attractive young Sonia who is secretly in love with her boss, and a colourful pair of lieutenants who know better than to mess with his secrets— the tired and trouble-ridden cop somehow finds the energy to unravel the mystery and arrest the assassins.

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