24 May 2017

Morgan Sportès: Je t'aime, je te tue (1985)

There's a golden legend of saints, but this is is the (satirical) scarlet legend of killers, as Morgan Sportès begins by saying in this early book (with its deliberately sensationalist cover), which is a kind of amalgam of true stories in fictional form. Excluded here are crimes motivated by greed for money, leaving a wide area open for crimes within the family, especially crimes passionels. (The word 'crime' in French is not synonymous with the English word 'crime', and suggests a serious crime.) 

Sportès's episodic work (consisting of twelve stories, not all of which are actually murders) makes for gruesome reading, as of course it is intended to. Here we have: the body of a peep-show girl trawled out of the canal Saint-Martin; the chopping up of a partner by the lover; the joint murder of the husband of a mismatched couple; a multiple psycho-killer who wears a motorcycle crash helmet; the husband who kills his sexually promiscuous wife, buries her under the peach tree, kills his dog when he goes digging up the earth, and finally, fatefully confesses his actions to his new partner. All human grotesque (but not remorseful) life is here, and Sportès presents it chillingly well. This is far from being a wonderful book, but it's well worth a couple of hours' read.

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