French title : “Le mort veille”
The sensation of cold that suddenly seized him from head to toe, woke him up with a start. He remained a moment motionless, his eyes open in the dark. From outside, through the garnet-colored curtains and the thick granite walls, he heard the storm accompanied by the dull roll of thunder. “It’s coming from the moors, he thought; the junk farm is going to take another big hit; like ten years ago, when the great Petronilla died from a single stroke of lightning. A real vampire’s time on the loose!
Suddenly he thought he heard a slight noise in the vast chamber. At the same time, the storm redoubled its efforts and shook the windows to smash them. He wanted to get up. He could not. A strange force prevented him from it. He panicked, struggled, tried in vain to make a sound out of his knotted throat. During this time, the pressure which retained him with his layer did not cease increasing. He suddenly understood that he could do nothing against this terrible nightmare. He was going to die. Everything was going to be over. He then had a kind of sob and gave himself up to the hideous fear.
The old Uncle du Maroué, a large family home lost in the middle of the curious forest of Fénétrange, is breathing his last.
Having no posterity and endowed with a particularly macabre personality, he took care beforehand to write a will by which the pretenders to his succession will have to meet within his residence during a few days, from which they will be forbidden to leave the place, under penalty of disinheriting the whole group.
However, the Maroué is not a common house… A strange character moves there once the night falls and does not cease to make blood flow after his passage…
Each one fears for his life, but, bound by the reward promised at the key, they would not leave the house for anything in the world.
How far will this Machiavellian plan take them?
Previous publication : “On lui a fait mal – Romans Policiers”, Fleuve Noir, ” Super-Poche “, 1996, 713 p.
Novel published in French only