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Small-town French life is skillfully brought to life by Armel Job in Judge Not. In this newest novel, Job weaves an intricate and suspenseful tale of the investigation of a kidnapping that probes the sometimes fine line between truth and falsehood.
Denise Desantis left her youngest son, David, alone in his stroller on the sidewalk as she ran inside a shop for a quick errand. When she returned, just a moment later, he was missing. The investigation of the kidnapping shocks the small town’s tight-knit community, especially when it becomes clear—to the horror of the Desantis family—that Denise is the primary suspect. The lives of Denise and her husband are scrutinized by the investigator, Judge Conrad, a cold-hearted and insensitive man. The judge first forces Denise into a painful disclosure of every step of the day of the disappearance and then pries deep into the Desantis family’s life. When he interviews witnesses, they produce contradictory stories regarding the day of David’s kidnapping, and Conrad becomes more certain of Denise’s guilt. His relentless hunt eventually exposes some shocking lies Denise has told, some dark secrets she has hidden—but has he come closer to the truth? Conrad’s witch hunt of an investigation into David’s kidnapping finally forces Denise’s hidden history to surface . . . but it also brings to light the town’s secrets.
Armel Job : Since publishing his first novel in 1995, Armel Job has written nine books and won notable prizes in France and Belgium, including the Prix du jury Giono in 2005 for Les Fausses Innocences and the Prix de la Personnalité Richelieu in 2007. Job, a teacher of classical literature and director of a high school in Belgium, writes novels that focus on daily life yet explore the unspoken and the unexpected in society and politics.