At 26-years-old, Jérémie Guez has been hailed as the rising star of contemporary French noir. He’s already written four novels, two of which were awarded France’s top literary prizes, the SNCF du Polar and the Plume Libre. Eyes Full of Empty is the highly-anticipated first English translation of his work and the third in his Parisian trilogy. Idir is a 34-year-old Algerian immigrant who does special favors for Paris’s elite thanks to his upper crust school connections despite his rough neighborhood upbringing. When a media mogul hires Idir to find his half-brother, Thibeau, it seems to be an easy case until Idir finds himself in the middle of a war between two powerful media conglomerates. Join the discussion as guest host Lisa Brackmann guides the conversation, and Guez addresses the issues of class and race in a tense urban noir that fans of Chandler will appreciate.
The son of an Algerian immigrant, Idir is a disappointment to his doctor father. Torn between his wealthy school friends and his neighborhood pals, who range from petty thieves to professional criminals, Idir operates easily between worlds, and yet is at home nowhere. Without much effort, Idir becomes one of the Parisian upper crust s most sought-out private dicks, thanks to his understanding of the needs of his privileged clients. The only thing standing in his way is Idir's unfortunate habit of crying uncontrollably.
Things change when Oscar Crumley, a wealthy media scion that Idir knew at university, reappears in Idir's life, hiring him to find his missing younger half-brother, Thibaut. Idir assumes it is an open and shut case. But when Idir discovers that Thibaut was hiding his homosexuality from his conservative family, his disappearance takes on sinister connotations.
Distracted by his intense affair with the wife of a wealthy friend, Idir ultimately becomes embroiled in a war of lies and corruption between two of France's most powerful media conglomerates. Inspired by Chandler and the American greats, Guez uses the familiar tropes of noir to create an entirely new language.
Ellie McEnroe is an Iraq War vet living in Beijing, where she represents the work of cutting-edge Chinese political artists. She has one bum leg, a taste for dumplings and beer, and an evangelical mother and a sweet-tempered rescue mutt for roommates. She also has Chinese Domestic Security on her tail and a dwindling number of Percocets to get her through her bad days.
And she's about to have some bad days. The immensely powerful and occasionally homicidal Shanghai billionaire Sidney Cao has asked Ellie to investigate Marsh Brody, his son's suspicious new American business partner. Ellie knows she can t refuse, and is grudgingly swept up into the elite social circles of Sidney's three children: debauched Guwei, rebellious Meimei and social climber Tiantian. When a waitress is murdered at one of Tiantian's parties, the last thing Ellie wants is to get sucked into a huge scandal involving China's rich and powerful. But Ellie quickly becomes the most convenient suspect and realizes she ll have to figure out who really did it and even that might not be enough to save herself.