Philippe Besson subverts the thriller to create a novel which explores
the violent emotions which bind two people from very different
One is a workaday Los Angeles cop, the other one of Hollywood’s
leading men, an actor worshipped by the public and hounded by the
press and the paparazzi. Ordinarily these two men would never have
met. But when the body of a teenage rent-boy is discovered in one
of the most fashionable LA neighbourhoods, their worlds collide
and an investigation which begins as a game of cat-and-mouse,
becomes one of obsession, of smoke and mirrors, in which much
more is revealed than simply whodunit.
This is not simply a murder investigation but a startling and
searing love story in which passion leads the lovers to take ever
more deadly risks. Behind their pretence, both straight-laced
cop and successful actor are lonely and vulnerable men, who find
themselves unexpectedly, inexorably drawn to each other. How can
these men — archetypes of a certain American masculinity, come to
terms with the unthinkable, and how long can any love survive on
the margins of the law.
In this homage to Hollywood, laden with allusions and visual
references, Besson’s writing had never been more cinematographic.
Part film noir part road movie, An Accidental Man is also the story of
Los Angeles, a mythical city where the glaring California sun blazes
down on Lavish villas, on no-star Venice Beach motels and the wild
pacific coast, exposing the underbelly of the Hollywood dream.
This is a novel of contrasts where dark secrets and sordid crime
are tempered by the discovery of a love which transforms men and
forces them to confront their true selves.