This unsettling novel inspired Pedro Almodovar's acclaimed film "The Skin I Live In."
* * *
Mygale [MIG-uh-lee] n.: a genus of large tropical spiders. . . .
A highly successful plastic surgeon pursues and captures the man who raped his daughter. He is determined to exact an atrocious vengeance, and an ambiguous, even sadomasochistic relationship develops between self-appointed executioner and victim.
Swift and spare, suspenseful and thought-provoking, Mygale puts the gothic spirit back in the noir canon while introducing unique twists on notions of desire, identity, lost and restitution.
"Great art in nightmarish darkness."--Michel Lebrun
"'Ingenious, ' 'elegant, ' 'sinister' &nash; these are also adjectives that approximate, but fall short of, the narrative power of Mygale. Much like Poe's 'tales of terror, ' Mygale is a story that invites both respect and repulsion." -- Washington Post Book World
"More Jim Thompson than Raymond Chandler, Jonquet's prose is rough hewn, the panache is all in Mygale's bizarre setup, gruesome scenarios and gender bending ending." --St. Petersberg Times
"Watch your skin crawl with this slim French tickler . . ." --East Bay Express
"[T]his short novel embraces sexual horror with relish; it feels at times like being pulled on a leash through a Bosch painting with the Marquis de Sade leering from the wings." - Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian
"Mygale. . . is, appropriately enough, a spider web of a book, the different threads spun out until it all comes together in its very neat design. Jonquet serves up some extremely unlikely coincidences to get it to all fit together, but most of what he dishes up is so bizarre that one can almost overlook that. Especially in how he builds it up, Jonquet keeps the reader guessing just enough. And, in any case, it's a quick ride. Jonquet spins out several threads separately, jumping from one to the other until they finally all come together." --Complete Review
Thierry Jonquet (1954 - 2009) is an exponent of the hardboiled style of French noir that is inflected by post-May 1968 politics and social critique. His crime novels and children's books have garnered many literary prizes.