A devastating analysis of the human capacity for violence and redemption from one of France's finest young novelists
2008. George "The Wall" Crozat has racked up thirty-eight victories (twenty-three of them by knock-out), eight defeats, and an empty bank account. Finally ready to hang up his gloves and focus on his career as a police officer, he is chiefly concerned with funding his voracious appetite for prostitutes.
When a shady bouncer offers him a photograph, an address and a chance to turn a real profit with his fists, the temptation is irresistible. Before long the money is flowing, but Crozat has unknowingly become a pawn in a very dangerous game. Powerful forces are using his brutality to keep their own secrets, and Crozat teeters on the precipice of an abyss that stretches fifty years into the past, to the darkest chapter of France's colonial history.
Drawing on his own father's experience of the Algerian War, Antonin Varenne's darkly personal thriller shines a light on corruption, torture, conspiracy and revenge.
This is uncompromising fare reminiscent in tone of the bleak Gallic nihilism to be found in such dark television shows as Braquo . . . . Another forceful entry from Varenne - Independent
Varenne's prize-winning Bed of Nails was unusual; a book shot through with a truly idiosyncratic vision . . . Its radical shaking up of the detective-story narrative resulted in something both provocative and disturbing . . . Loser's Corner is, if anything, even more grittily impressive, with Varenne utilising the experiences of his own father in the French-Algerian War - Independent
Tough, atmospheric thriller - Sun
A back-street beating of a book that will leave you scarred but deeply impressed - Weekend Sport
Antonin Varenne was awarded the Prix Michel Lebrun and the Grand Prix du Jury Sang d'encre for Bed of Nails, his first novel to be translated into English. His second, Loser's Corner was awarded the Prix des Lecteurs Quais du polar - 20 minutes and the Prix du Meilleur Polar Francophone.