If you haven’t heard of Guillaume Musso yet, you are in for quite a treat, as several of his latest books are being published in the US for the first time. A little background on this beloved French author: Guillaume Musso is a bestselling French novelist whose suspense thrillers, intricately plotted crime novels, and engaging mysteries are some of the most popular books in France. He’s written over a dozen novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages, and sold millions of copies around the world.
After graduating from high school in France, Musso traveled to the US, where he spent several months in New York City, working as an ice cream vendor and living with other youth from all over the world. His experiences there had a big influence on him as a novelist. US readers (and especially New Yorkers) will recognize many of the settings in his latest novel, which takes place in the city. Though if you’re hoping for a novel to transport you to France, never fear. Musso also writes beautifully about his native country.
Though Musso’s books are beloved in France and have been widely translated, it’s only recently that they’ve become available in English. The Reunion, a dark thriller about an elite prep school on the French Rivera, was published in 2019. Central Park, a mystery about a Parisian cop who wakes up on a park bench in New York with no memory of how she got there, will be available on March 16, 2021.
If you’re ready to fall in love with a new crime author, you’re going to want to pick up Musso’s two translated works. But prepare yourself for a bit of frustration (unless you’re fluent in French). While French speakers have an extensive backlist of Musso’s books to enjoy, the rest of us will have to make do with these two gems while waiting for more English translations to come out.
The Reunion, a bestseller in France, is an intelligent and fast-paced thriller that blends intriguing, complex characters with a page-turning mystery. It's a great introduction to Musso's work, as it encapsulates so much of what has made him so popular. The story revolves around three high school friends who haven't spoken in over twenty years. They decide to meet up at a school reunion—not because they're so desperate to see each other again, but because the school is renovating the old gymnasium. And that's bad news for them, because they hid a body in the gym walls one fateful night back when they were students. As the friends struggle to decide what to do, details emerge about what really happened on that long-ago night. It was the night fourth member of their friend group, Vinca, went missing and never returned. Full of twists upon twists upon twists, this novel will have you guessing at the truth, right along with the characters, until the very last page.
Translated by Sam Taylor
Central Park is one of those rare thrillers that manages to be many things at once: a moving character study, a gritty adventure, and a twisty mystery that will continually surprise you. Alice is a Parisan cop who wakes up on a bench in Central Park with no memory of how she got there. What's even weirder: she's handcuffed to a musician, Gabriel, and she's got someone's blood on her shirt. She remembers clubbing with friends in Paris the night before; Gabriel remembers performing in Dublin. Baffled and suspicious, Alice and Gabriel spend the next day stumbling from one end of the city to the other, seeking out clues that will explain their strange situation. But what they find is more terrifying even than waking up without their memories. All signs point to their present predicament having something to do with a serial killer Alice hunted years ago, a man who destroyed her life. A man she thought was dead. It will take all of Alice and Gabriel's combined smarts to stay alive. Action-packed, unpredictable, and full of unforgettable characters, this is a 2021 release you're not going to want to miss.