Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air. When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl’s disappearance, Manfred’s repressed world is shaken to its core and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past. ‘The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau’ is a literary mystery novel that is, at heart, an engrossing psychological portrayal of an outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.
Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC by Bee Books India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I have no words at all – this was an incredibly dark and intensely creepy novel that took me a bout a week to get through!
Never have I disliked the main character of a book as much as I have Manfred – a man loves his routine; is socially awkward and yet extremely dull, especially considering the waitress, Adele Bedeau, the focus of his borderline creepy attention; which becomes the focus of police scrutiny when she disappears without trace.
This leads to Manfred’s tightly controlled life to unravel at a pace that he can’t control – and brings him under pressure, pressure that a man like him, slowly cracks under.
The plot of the book is torturously slow; yet thought provoking, which is irony in itself – mostly because the author does his best to give an in – depth look inside the psyche of different characters – this makes sure that the reader is riveted to the story and yet at the same time not exactly invested in the characters themselves.
I have given the rating I did to this book, mostly because while this book is certainly not the norm of my reading style; I still didn’t understand the need for such a slow plot line.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐