The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie GranotierThe Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier

The Paris Lawyer

bySylvie GranotierTranslated byAnne Trager

Paperback | May 15, 2014

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This award-winning psychological thriller navigates between the sophisticated corridors of the Paris courts and a small backwater in central France, where rolling hills and quiet country life hide dark secrets. As a child, she was the only witness to a heinous crime. Now, Catherine Monsigny is an ambitious rookie attorney in Paris, working for a well-known firm. On the side, she does pro bono work and hits the jackpot: a major felony case that could boost her career. A black woman is accused of poisoning her rich farmer husband in a peaceful village in central France, where nothing ever happens. While preparing the case, Catherine's own past comes back with a vengeance. This fast-paced story follows Catherine's determined search for the truth in both her case and her own life. Who can she believe? And can you ever escape from your past? The story twists and turns, combining subtle psychological insight with detailed descriptions of the region.
Author, screenwriter and actress Sylvie Granotier loves to weave plots that send shivers up your spine. She was born in Algeria and grew up in Paris and Morocco. She studied literature and theater in Paris, then set off traveling -the United States, Brazil, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, ending with a tour of Europe. She wound up in Paris...
Title:The Paris LawyerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:May 15, 2014Publisher:Le French BookLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1939474019

ISBN - 13:9781939474018


Read from the Book

One early afternoon, in all other ways like any other afternoon, her mother takes her out in her stroller, soothing her with a laughing mom’s voice. She tells her about the wind that sings and then softens among the branches and the swallows that compete in skill to skim the pond for a few refreshing drops of water before flying off again in perfect circles into the clouds.       The little girl does not understand every word, but she follows her mother’s fingers as they  imitate birds gliding through the air down to her face.       Then they will go home for snack followed by a nap.       It is a reassuring life, where nothing unexpected happens.       They stop at the edge of the woods, in the shade of the trees. The little girl plays with the light, squinting to change the intensity of the rays.       Before the screaming starts, before her mother’s distant terror terrorizes her in turn, before the panicked shrill pierces her ears, and the little girl takes refuge in sleep to bury an anxiety far too great for her to bear, her mother gives her a generous and warm hug, leaving her with the sight of the entire sky, and says, “I’ll be right back.” A final broken promise. Sitting as she is, the child cannot see the body, or what is left of it, sprawled on the ground, beaten to a pulp. Yet that moment of abandonment remains forever engraved in her adult memory.       The sky is calm and clear above the Seine River in Paris, where traffic is nervous and gray along the banks. Catherine Monsigny cannot figure out what links this fleeting moment with that fixed point in her past, that fuzzy, probably reconstructed memory that usually is tactful enough to leave her alone. She has even tried to convince herself that it has stopped broadcasting from that faraway land of her childhood.        She crosses the Pont Neuf, parking her scooter at the Place Dauphine. She shakes her head, hurting her ears as she yanks off her helmet, which she stows in her top box, and grabs her briefcase and large bag.        She walks quickly toward the courthouse, cursing her short legs, slipping into her court robe as she climbs the steps, and by habit she automatically replaces those old uninvited images with a quick summary of the case she is about to defend.        Her client—what’s his name again? Ah, yes, Cedric Devers—is accused of assault and battery. He admits using force and justifies it by blaming the harassment that preceded it. According to him, he met a woman—Monique Lemaire, fifty-six years old—in a bar, took her back to his place for a short session between consenting adults. Ciao, no see you next time, because there won’t be one.        Monique did not see things the same way, harassed him by phone, and one night too many, she took to ringing her seducer’s doorbell until he reacted. He opened the door. That was a fatal error. Stubborn with drink, she wouldn’t take no for an answer and tried to force her way in. He had to stop the noise and ended up pushing her. She fell, which resulted in a few bruises and three days’ disability leave.        Catherine has not yet met her client. They have spoken on the phone. She glances around to see that he is even later than she is. She pokes her head into the courtroom to check the proceedings.         The pending case is not yet over.        Just as well. Her client will have the time he needs to arrive.        Too bad for him. She does not like waiting.        She paces.       “Maître Monsigny?”       She senses fingers lightly brush her shoulder, spins around and looks into the deepest gray—or perhaps green—eyes she has ever seen. She feels as though she’s falling into them. She grasps for something to catch her balance, and her professional composure kicks in, winning every time as it does. She throws him a sharp look and spits out, “Cedric Devers? You’re late.”

Editorial Reviews

“Sylvie Granotier’s The Paris Lawyer is a beautifully written and elegantly structured novel of a woman’s attempt to solve the central mystery of her life, and several other mysteries along the way.  It captures the reader from the first page, and never lets go.” –Edgar Award-winning author Thomas H. Cook “Full of surprises and twists that will keep you reading late into the night.” –Cosmopolitan “This is a suspense novel with an absolutely perfect atmosphere. The writing is subtle, racy, controlled. It is written with great art!” – “Everything in this book—the plot, the atmosphere, the characters, and the style—is perfectly mastered from beginning to end.” –L’Echo “The author has a distinctive style and an unsurpassed talent for delving deep into her characters’ minds. It is a disturbing read.” –Madame Figaro “Reading this is like having a fever. The author takes the reader from dark humor to cold anxiety at a diabolic pace.” –Notre temps “Sylvie Granotier’s book, The Paris Lawyer, has a compelling heroine in Catherine Monsigny.  She is a young attorney, working on a fascinating, mysterious case.  But she is also a woman haunted by a tragic event in her own past, the murder of her mother.  Sylvie Granotier interweaves the past and present with a sure hand, and her characters have a psychological depth which is rare in crime fiction today.  This is a complex tale, skillfully told, that will keep you in suspense to the very end.” –Patricia MacDonald Reviews Crime Fiction Lover review: “The Paris Lawyer is a powerful, well-written thriller, but also a meditation on the nature of love and marriage, and whether we can ever escape the past and reinvent ourselves.” Rachel Cotterill Book Reviews: “a solid and interesting read, and I would certainly consider reading more by this author.” Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, Spotlight: “The Paris Lawyer is a credible double mystery told in a way that brings both story threads together. It’s got a distinctive French setting, a strong protagonist, some well-developed and likeable other characters and a haunting link of past to present.” AustCrime’s review: “The Paris Lawyer has a particular French sensibility, combined with a clever take on lawyer-based crime fiction…One of the most interesting aspects of it is how what starts of as a slightly meandering, low key sort of a story, builds into something that becomes extremely involving. It’s almost sneaky how the combination of an isolated location, a man with a secret and a central character with a confronting past, all combine as Monsigny’s investigation into her own background and the defence of the murder accused, twist and turn together. The story deftly balances the idea of a lawyer, trial-based book; with many of the aspects of a psychological thriller.” I am, Indeed blog: “This was an incredibly compelling story that maintains that peculiar sensibility that is utterly French yet eludes description… Granotier has pulled layers from the characters to expose their secrets and flaws up to the last pages, and created a story that was well worth the time to read.” Queen of All She Reads Blog: “Well developed characters, good dialogue, and two solid mysteries kept me turning the pages. …Ms. Granotier does an excellent job developing her characters; it was easy to identify with the Catherine and her youthful ambitions.”