The last book in translation I read, or rather listened to, was the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – which was blisteringly good. Jean-François Parot’s novel is a different beast altogether, despite the fact that it too features a novice detective set an impossible task by a wealthy and influential superior. The plot is well-conceived, albeit slightly undermined by an opacity in the language – at times description, dialogue and characterisations seemed at odds with the plot. Like translations I have read of Russian novels, The Master and Margarita and Petty Demon to name two, the reader always feels that somehow in English they are being short-changed, that the fullness of the author’s original intent has been lost. If only I kept thinking I could read this in the original, these elisions might not have been present.
Having said that, murders in Paris which straddle the Royal Court and demi-monde together will always hold a level of fascination, as will protagonists who conform to contemporaneous mores which conflict with those of the present day, and yet still maintain a level of sympathy with the reader.
Here’s the link to Amazon.
Should also mention that in a previous career I designed Gallic Books website, hence the initial impulse to pick Parot’s book up.