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Murder In Memoriam (Melville International Crime) Paperback – October 16, 2012
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But this book is much more than a detective story. It's an attempt, using the detective story as a framework, to elucidate and weave together parts of French history that the author, born in Drancy with that city's horrible connotation, no doubt, constantly in his mind, experienced living in Paris during the 1961 massacre of Algerians when Maurice Papon was Prefet de Police de Paris and during also the trials of Maurice Papon (1981-2004) for crimes against humanity. Consequently, to read this story on a level other than that of simple detective fiction, the reader needs to have a knowledge of French history. For instance, the figure of Veillut is a stand-in for Papon.
Considering that this book was originally published in 1984 during the Papon trials when the events surrounding both the "rafles" of Jews during WWII and the massacre of Algerians in Paris in 1961 were still pretty hush-hush, this book was a brave and tremendous step forward in publicizing these crimes in a country that manifests openly its respect for Les Droits de l'Homme. Just last week on the 51st anniversary of the Paris Massacre, M. Hollande, the French President, finally stated that "On Oct. 17, 1961, Algerians who were protesting for independence were killed in a bloody repression."
As detective fiction, this book, for some, may leave a lot to be desired, but as a look at French history, it's one of a kind.