Cover image for Three days and a life / Pierre Lemaitre ; translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
Three days and a life / Pierre Lemaitre ; translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
Title Variants:
3 days and a life
Publication Information:
New York : Maclehose Press, an imprint of Quercus : distributed by Hachette Book Group, 2017.

Physical Description:
199 pages ; 24 cm
Added Author:


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1 Bob Harkins Branch LEM Book Adult General Collection

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In 1999, in the small provincial town of Beauval, France, twelve-year-old Antoine Courtin accidentally kills a young neighbor boy in the woods near his home. Panicked, he conceals the body and to his relief--and ongoing shame--he is never suspected of any connection to the child's disappearance.
But the boy's death continues to haunt him, shaping his life in unseen ways. More than a decade later, Antoine is living in Paris, now a young doctor with a fiancée and a promising future. On a rare trip home to the town he hates and fears, Antoine thoughtlessly sleeps with a beautiful young woman from his past. She shows up pregnant at his doorstep in Paris a few months later, insisting that they marry.

Meanwhile, the newly discovered body of Antoine's childhood victim means that the case has been reopened, and all of his old fears rush back. With the gravitational pull of his hometown strengthening its grip, Antoine may finally be forced to confront his past. Is he prepared to do what he must to keep his darkest secrets buried?

Author Notes

Pierre Lemaitre is a French novelist, born in Paris in 1951. He is a former teacher of literature. His is the author of Camille, for which he won the Crime Writers' Association International Dagger. He and Fred Vargas won the Crime Writers' Association International Dagger for Alex. His novel, The Great Swindle, won the 2013 Prix Goncourt, France's leading literary award. In 2016, it won the International Dagger for the best crime novel not originally written in English.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lemaitre's searing novel of psychological suspense rests on a terrible tragedy: in 1999, in the French village of Beauval, an angry 12-year-old, Antoine Courtin, hits a little boy, Rémi Desmedt, with a tree branch, accidentally killing him. Terrified, Antoine hides Rémi's body and is wracked with guilt as the people of Beauval desperately hunt for the boy they believe was stolen by a stranger. Twelve years later, Antoine has settled in Paris, where he's a successful doctor working in humanitarian aid and engaged to be married, though he's still haunted by what he did to Rémi. On a reluctant visit back to Beauval, a sexual encounter with a childhood crush and news of local redevelopment threaten to destroy his carefully constructed life. From Antoine's inner torment, Lemaitre (Blood Wedding) devises an unusual page-turner, driven not by the cause-and-event of incident but the push-and-pull of guilt and memory, which spins toward a final revelation that leaves the reader with stark questions about punishment, culpability, and the psychic consequences of long-held secrets. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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