Friday, July 31, 2020

Review: How's the Pain

How's the Pain? [Editions Gallic]

How's the Pain?
Pascal Garnier

Simon Marechall is a hit man preparing for his last job before retirement. The job is down south along the French coast. After meeting Bernard, a young man who has been injured at his workplace, Simon decides to take him on as a driver. Setting off down south, they spot a bit of trouble on the roadside between a feuding couple. Bernard stops to help, and soon Fiona and daughter Violette are tagging along with Simon and Bernard. Along the way, bodies pile up as Simon does what he does best, pest control. This odd little group begins to appear just like a family on a holiday as they find lodgings in a campsite at the beach and grapple with the way forward. Except for Simon, who knows this is the end of the road long before the journey began.

In this book, the pain is deep and widespread. Garnier is a master at seeing the underside of life. In typical fashion, he presents a world that is both horrific, sleazy, comic, and ordinary all at the same time. And like most of his stories, this one gets right under the skin. Before you know, you almost feel sorry for a hit man. Garnier never fails to deliver unexpected, offbeat characters, scenes, and dialogue. All of which makes him one of my favorite writers.

Thanks to Gallic Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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