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Death From the Woods (1996)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425207331, Mass Market Paperback)Penzler Pick, May 2000: This gripping mystery by one of France's top mystery writers recently won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, the equivalent of the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Elise Andrioli has been left blind, mute, and quadriplegic after a terrorist bomb explosion in Northern Ireland that killed her fiancé. Back in the small suburb outside Paris where she lives, Elise leads a solitary life except for the contact that she has with her caretakers. However, a series of grisly local murders has shaken the residents. Young boys have been disappearing only to be discovered a day later, dead and horribly mutilated.
One morning, while waiting in her wheelchair outside a supermarket, Elise is approached by a small girl named Virginie, who confides that she was present when "Death from the Woods" murdered Michael, a boy reported missing several days earlier. Later that afternoon, Michael's death is confirmed on the local news. Elise is intrigued but has no idea who Virginie is or how to find her. But soon Virginie reappears and offers Elise more information about the murders. The investigating police officer suspects that Virginie is giving information to Elise that she is reluctant to give to him, and tries to set up a communication system between himself and Elise to find out what she knows. But someone else also suspects that Elise knows something--and after an accident that almost costs her her life, she must try to convey her knowledge to those around her. But how?
This first-person mystery is not only chilling, it is--incredibly--amusing. Elise is an engaging heroine with a remarkable sense of humor about her physical and mental state. There are plenty of twists and turns in this crisply translated story, and readers, far from feeling sorry for Elise, will find themselves cheering on this gutsy woman as she uses her remarkable intellect to keep herself out of danger and bring the murderer to justice. --Otto Penzler
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:07 -0400)
Elise Andrioli had it all: she was managing a bustling movie theater, engaged to be married, surrounded by friends. But when a terrorist bomb shattered her world, leaving her blind, mute, and quadriplegic, she must be taken back to her family home near Paris. Lately, life in this suburb has been less than tranquil -- a series of grisly murders has shaken its residents. Young boys keep disappearing in the woods, only to be discovered days later, dead and horribly mutilated. One morning, while waiting in her wheelchair outside a supermarket, Elise is approached by a strange little girl named Virginie, who confides to her that she was present when the Death from the Woods murdered Michael, a little boy reported missing several days earlier. Later that afternoon, Michael's death is confirmed on the local news. All too soon, Virginie will inform Elise that she herself is a target. Who is this girl, and how will Elise ever find her again? Why is someone trying to kill her? And how in the world is she going to convey what she knows to those around her? Voted France's Best Thriller of 1997, brilliantly written from the perspective of a woman with "locked-in syndrome, " Death from the Woods proves once again that Brigitte Aubert is unquestionably one of Europe's most gifted storytellers.
An edition of this book was published by Voland Edizioni.
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