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Bed of Nails

by Antonin Varenne

S & M, police corruption, government-sanctioned torture: these are not comfortable topics. But the main theme - how people cope with life in prisons of their own making - benefits from a touch of humour and unforgettable characters.

Extract

How often had he imagined this body as a corpse when Alan was still alive? When he had taken him into hospital, when he'd found him collapsed on his couch, in the last stages of overdosing and semi-comatose? How many times had he dragged him under a cold shower to make him vomit and come slowly back to life? The son of a bitch always allowed himself the luxury of a big smile when he returned to earth and found John leaning over him, beside himself with fear and anger. The smile that was the only thing between him and death.
Translated by Sian Reynolds

Parallels

The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge by Patrica Duncker
A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming
Anything by Fred Vargas
 

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