Synopses & Reviews
Anna Heymes, the wife of a top-ranking Parisian official, suffers from amnesia and terrifying hallucinations. In an effort to understand her malady, a psychiatrist performs a series of tests, which reveal that she has undergone drastic cosmetic surgery, totally transforming her appearance. When, where, and why, Anna cannot remember.
In the Turkish district of Paris, two policemen investigate the brutal murders of three women from the tenth arrondissement's underground workshops. At the heart of their investigation is a powerful and ruthless group of right-wing Turkish mafia members, the "Grey Wolves," who are involved in every conceivable manner of illegal trafficking.
The link between Anna and the three murders becomes increasingly clear as her past is revealed and each of these characters prey and predator, manipulated and manipulator race toward an astonishing and horrible collision in the murky streets of a clandestine Paris and in the shadowy confines of Istanbul.
A riveting blend of terror and mystery from the author of Blood-Red Rivers, "the best thriller since The Silence of the Lambs" (Le Figaro), The Empire of the Wolves is a gripping, hair-raising page-turner from "France's own Stephen King" (VSD).
"French reporter turned author Grangé (The Stone Council; Blood-Red Rivers) produces another grisly, Paris-set suspense novel, one that should help build his stateside audience. Chocolate shop worker Anna Heymes, 31, suffers horrifying nightmares and periods of extreme confusion ('memory gaps') so great that she's barely able to recognize her own husband, Laurent. Psychologists are stumped until Anna discovers scars on her scalp and is convinced that her face has been reconstructed but by whom? and for what reason? Meanwhile, silver-haired, divorced top cop Paul Nerteaux investigates the murder of three female Turkish illegal immigrants, each of their bodies hideously mutilated beyond recognition. To aid in the bizarre case, Paul resurrects retired, ultra-shady 'father of all cops' Jean-Louis Schiffer. Using heavy-handed tactics, Paul and Jean-Louis scour the Turkish quarter and infiltrate the Grey Wolves, a deadly right-wing political organization bent on finding the now unrecognizable Anna (aka Sema Gokalp, presurgery) since she's the sole witness to a kidnapping in a Parisian sweatshop. Unbeknownst to her, Anna was also an imprisoned 'laboratory rat' for the Morpho project, a radical psychic conditioning experiment, but her questionable past is soon exposed. Grang's gloomy, gray-hued Paris makes an apt backdrop for this gruesome thriller. The complicated scientific scenario shouldn't dissuade readers from enjoying this murky morsel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A]n audacious plot that blends elements of Training Day and The Manchurian Candidate with a dash of La Femme Nikita. It's a ridiculous story by any measure...but it's good fun." Booklist
"The author's healthy appetite for merrily killing off any and all of his characters is not enough, alas, to add suspense to his tale." Kirkus Reviews
Grangé's riveting international bestseller rivals literate thrillers such as Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park and Peter Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow.
About the Author
Jean-Christophe Grangé was born in Paris in 1961. Now an independent international reporter, he worked with magazines all over the world, as well as with various press agencies, before setting up his own news agency. Blood-Red Rivers, his second novel, became a huge bestseller in France and has since been made into a film, The Crimson Rivers, directed by Mathieu Kassovitz and starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel.