The Hat of Victor Noir

By Adrian Mathews

A surreal black comedy set in Paris by the most talented British newcomer since Louis de Bernieres.

Philip Kovacs is a teacher in Paris. One evening he returns to his flat beside the Canal Saint Martin to find a sharp, disturbing odour in the air. It is the smell of trespass; the smell of his own fear. Nearby, in a curious corner of Pere Lachaise cemetary, a woman pays her respects at the tomb of Victor Noir, a 19th-century journalist gunned down in the prime of life by his mistress’s husband. Furtively, she pops a letter into the bronze hat that lies beside the effigy of Victor’s supine, bullet-punctured corpse. The envelope bears Kovacs’ name. As Fate would have it, she does not go unobserved. For Philip Kovacs, the nightmare has only just begun. By turns surprising, elliptical and surreal, The Hat of Victor Noir is a wild card of a novel, a moody black comedy that stalks through the City of Light with mayhem in mind.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 01 May 1997
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-1-85702-569-9
Adrian Mathews was born in 1957. His mother is Czech and his father English. He was brought up in South London and read English at Cambridge University. For several years he moved between jobs in England and France but since 1988 he has been based in Paris. Adrian Mathews is married and lives and works near the city’s Latin Quarter. The Hat of Victor Noir is his first novel.