The Godmother: A Crime Novel

Hannelore Cayre (Author) Stephanie Smee (Translator)
Available

Description

A New York Times "100 Notable Books of 2019"

Inspiration for the major motion picture Mama Weed

Translated from the international bestseller La Daronne

Winner of the European Crime Fiction Prize and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France's most prestigious prize for crime fiction

"Exuberant... Maybe crime doesn't pay, but the guile and guts -- and humour -- with which Patience approaches this extreme solution to her desperate situation, right under the noses of law enforcement, is admirable, as are her survival instincts. Readers will be anxious about the fate of the forthright, sympathetic Patience up to the final page. It's no surprise that this novel won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France's most prestigious award for crime fiction." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

Meet Patience Portefeux, a fifty-three-year-old, underpaid Franco-Arab interpreter for the Ministry of Justice who specializes in phone tapping. Widowed after the sudden death of her husband, Patience is now wedged between university fees for her grown-up daughters and nursing home costs for her aging mother.

Happening upon an especially revealing set of police wiretaps ahead of all other authorities, Patience makes a life-altering decision that sees her intervening in -- and infiltrating -- the machinations of a massive drug deal. She thus embarks on an entirely new career path: Patience becomes The Godmother.

This is not the French idyll of postcards and stock photos. With a gallery of traffickers, dealers, police officers, and politicians, The Godmother casts its sharp and amusing gaze on everyday survival in contemporary France. With an unforgettable woman at its center, Hannelore Cayre's bestselling novel reveals a European criminal underground that has rarely been seen.

Product Details

Price
$15.95  $14.67
Publisher
ECW Press
Publish Date
September 03, 2019
Pages
192
Dimensions
5.3 X 0.5 X 8.2 inches | 0.4 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781770415430

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About the Author

Hannelore Cayre is an award-winning French novelist, screenwriter, and director, and a practicing criminal lawyer. Her works include Legal Aid, Masterpieces, and Like It Is in the Movies. She has directed several short films and the adaptation of Commis d'office (Legal Aid) is her first feature-length film. Cayre lives in Paris. After working as a lawyer in Sydney and London, Stephanie Smee made her literary translation debut with an English translation of the Countess de Ségur's Fleurville Trilogy.

Reviews

"Cayre's middle-aged protagonist delivers her darkly comic adventure in the underworld with sardonic intelligence . . . [Cayre's] trick is a magnificent one: Patience's irresistible narration, never didactic, moves at an impressive clip as the reader roots all the while for the criminal -- a woman in a man's world, battling race, age and gender while cheerfully ignoring ethics." -- New York Times Book Review

"This slender and sardonic novel, a prizewinning best seller in France, features a middle-aged heroine as a drug-running crime boss and offers an entire ethnographic study of North African immigrants in the Parisian suburbs." -- The New York Times

"Exuberant . . . Maybe crime doesn't pay, but the guile and guts -- and humour -- with which Patience approaches this extreme solution to her desperate situation, right under the noses of law enforcement, is admirable, as are her survival instincts. Readers will be anxious about the fate of the forthright, sympathetic Patience up to the final page. It's no surprise that this novel won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France's most prestigious award for crime fiction." --
Publishers Weekly
STARRED review

"The Godmother is witty, pithy and distinctively French with an emphasis on character development rather than action although there's no shortage of that, either . . . Cayre is a first-rate novelist and she doesn't waste a word in this excellent short novel with dealers, traffickers, cops and quirky Frenchmen all getting their time on the page. Compliments are also due to translator Stephanie Smee who keeps the pace going and seems to get the rhythm of the language in the original." -- The Globe and Mail

"Breaking Bad meets Weeds, with a French suburban twist . . . Acerbic and witty, casting a sharp eye on both failing social systems and the fruitless 'war on drugs', Patience is one of the standout characters in this year's crime fiction crop, and you'll be rooting for her all the way." -- The Guardian