Thursday, 19 September 2013

L'enfant des cimetières

Sire Cédric
Science Fiction - Fantasy
Pocket - 2011
527 pages - $ 13.95

ISBN: 9782266203654 (2266203657)

I can't remember how I discovered this author, probably through fans of Maxime Chattam as both authors give in the fantastic kind... It seems that Sir Cedric is in any case a rising figure in France, so I was happy to discover his book that is my second book in the R.I.P. VIII challenge.


A gravedigger living near a cemetery is taken from a hallucinatory madness and kills his entire family before committing suicide.

A teenager, believing he's chased by shadows, threatens occupants of a hospital with  his weapon and kills Kristel, a painter. David photojournalist - and Kristel's partner - decides to discover the origin of this wave of sordid murders and suicides, which is increasing. Soon he will face the unimaginable...

What I think of it

There's undoubtedly strengths in this novel... but also some weaknesses that have hindered me.

About the strengths, Sire Cedric knows how to generate dizzy spell, anxiety and apprehension among his readers. I have experienced very unpleasant sensations several times while reading passages. I admit I even have hesitated to continue reading the book after some time in the night, because I was not sure of being able to sleep ! Sometimes there is an atmosphere like in Hitchcock's " The Birds": you know from where the danger comes, it's all around, but you do not know when it will attack... and that, that's nerve-racking!

I also liked the characters whose emotions are well transcribed, particularly the mourning of David, who seeks to find the origin of the evil which has taken his partner. Everything is done with subtlety, you feel his grief, his denial of his loss, his need to foresee if only an image of the woman he loves. It's nice to read, despite the pain. As for the anxiety or irrational fears that the other characters experience... it's sufficiently well written that I wanted to look under my bed ! When the young Villeneuve explains what he saw, you feel close to him, you hear him, you're part of his team (a not so winner team in the game of cat and mouse...), you begin to stress. Clearly, this is a strength of the author.

I appreciate that the so imposing cop with so boorish manners is not a caricature of the asshole cop without finesse. Instead Vauvert proves to be able to take into account what the majority of people refuse to believe. He does not necessarily believe in spirits, demons and other supernatural aspects but as he puts it: "What I think does not matter, replied Vauvert, I'm trying to prevent people from dying. That's my job." There is a duality between the scientific evidence and what the victims experience. The fact that the characters do not believe in supernatural phenomenon in principle but seek a logical and technical explanation makes the esoteric side even stronger.

What I dislike about the book concerns two points, probably less important to some people but it bothers me a lot. Very often when it comes to demons, there is sex, or at least some sensuality and this book does not lack it. But the inclusion of children in the sex scenes, THAT, it bothers me. I think it's sick and regrettable. The author is very good to make us feel emotions so if he wanted us to feel a mixture of desire and embarrassment, the fact that there are women and men of all ages who are shadows or rotted corpses in the scene is enough, right?

The second weakness relates to certain shortcuts used by the author to advance the story. Honestly, when do we have seen a person who has coincidentally ALL the ingredients for magical protection? Because frankly, if the devil comes home today, I 'm screwed! Apart from the salt... I have no other ingredients. There are other shortcuts in the book, but fortunately, they are not so numerous. It's just that when reading, I've been saying a few times... Duh! as if it was that easy!

In a nutshell

A novel which reads very quickly, whose plot includes several tracks that come together, well done with some weaknesses. I do not know if I can recommend it, especially because of the children (unacceptable in my case), but it will appeal to fans of the genre. I give it a 3/5.

My thought on closing the book : It's a shame, those small gaps...

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