The Panda Theory by Pascal Garnier

The Panda Theory

Pascal Garnier

Set in small-town Brittany, this 'Hitchcock-esque' crime novel left me feeling as though I should always check under the bed before going to sleep. Gabriel seems too good to be true - kind, empathic and friend to all: a little bit like swimming in a warm, blue lake never expecting that pretty-looking fish circling around you to be the piranha that bites you to the bone. Dark and disturbing with a fantastic ending.

Extract

It was a cave, a modern-day gloomy concrete cave at the back of an underground car park. Many had lived there, some still did, leaving evidence of their squalid existence painted on the walls: smears of shit, obscene graffiti, markings daubed in wine, piss and vomit. Burst mattressess and soiled blankets were piled up like animal skins in a rotting heap, teeming with so many lice, crab lice and fleas that they appeared to be coming to life. The place stank, though it was worse outside, except that it was so cold there you didn't notice it.

Parallels
  • How's the Pain by Pascal Garnier
  • Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl
  • Any film by Alfred Hitchcock