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Three Days and a Life    by Pierre LeMaitre order for
Three Days and a Life
by Pierre LeMaitre
Order:  USA  Can
MacLehose Press, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 1999 in the small town of Beauval, France. A child is accidentally killed by twelve year old Antoine in the woods near their homes. Antoine panics and hides the younger boy's body. To his relief it is surmised that someone has stolen the child.

The whole village had turned out to hunt for the missing boy. Finally, the distraught mother was forced to agree that her son was gone. But Antoine had to live with the results of his fit of anger. He didn't mean to kill his small playmate but the boy had made him so angry that he struck out and it happened.

It's terrible memory with which to live. Antoine manages to move on in life in spite of his great sense of guilt. As an adult, he meets and falls in love with a lovely young woman. As he woos her, he begins to realize that the one-night stand he had with someone else was going to produce a child. A paternity test would identify him as the father. Now what?

Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre is not a long book, only 198 pages. But it tells a tale of murder, and how the great loss of a small boy can affect a whole village. Antoine feels relief that he is not found out, but suffers throughout his life for the act of a moment. The ending was not what I expected don't cheat and look.

Three Days and a Life (translated from the French by Frank Wynne) is a psychological crime novel you will feel disdain for Antoine's determination to never reveal his hasty act that caused a death. Also, you'll breathe a sigh of admiration over his bold look on life. Author Lemaitre has written five other translated novels that were widely acclaimed.

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