It’s been a long time coming, but The Man From Berlin was published in France, today, as L’Homme de Berlin. It’s hard to say how happy this makes me. France is my home, and has been for more than half my life, now. My children were born here, I can think of nowhere else I’d rather live (perhaps New Zealand, one day, but that’s another story). It thrills me to think that so many friends and family will now be able to read the novel, after me talking to them about it, after me trying out ideas on them.
I’m particularly happy for my father in law, Henri Vacquin. An avid reader of polars, as the French call the crime fiction genre, he speaks not a word of English. I have fond memories of wandering around Paris with him, trying out ideas and suggestions, working through plot and character, and relieved that an aficionado like him was excited and eager for me. Granted, he is a very nice man, so maybe he was being nice to me, but I hope not, and he has spent the last few years badgering me for news of a French translation!
Those walks in Paris, and the story of Henri’s family–both his sister and brother were resistance fighters during the war, and he himself has some interesting stories to tell of the years during and after the Algerian war–are safely stored away for future use. There’ll be a Reinhardt novel set in Paris one day, you wait and see…!
In any case, Henri, and others – this one’s for you.