An unforgettable psychological noir novel set deep in the French countryside

Deadly Principles
Deadly Principles
(Principes Mortels)



It is the summer of 1979. Eighteen-year-old Franck Servin flees the havoc of his family home to study for his high school diploma. He finds refuge with his uncle and aunt in their isolated farm in the Creuse region where, four years previously, his cousin and lookalike Paul was killed on a road he had travelled on countless times before.

The tragedy still eats away at the family. It bides its time, waiting to strike again. Nowadays, decades later, that moment appears to have come.



‘A warm and idyllic farmhouse, sweet childhood memories… Jacques Saussey depicts in this fast-paced thriller an ideal world before tearing it into little pieces as he reveals the secrets and lies of a twisted family. Pick up this book and you won’t put it down again.’ Patricia MacDonald

‘Jacques Saussey is the great new voice of thriller.’ Franck Thilliez

Key points

  • A rural noir novel that flits between past and present
  • A fascinating family and social drama
  • A radiant teenage character who inexorably falls victim to the family curse
72 000 words

Sample chapters available in English