***Sample translation by Linda Coverdale available***
This erudite debut is a great success, masterful and filled with subtle literary references.—artpress
Vincent Message leaves the reader breathless.—Le Figaro
A great novel that makes one think about the complexity of the human mind.—L’Express
Nexus is a madman, a murderer, and an amnesiac who falls asleep on his victims’ still-warm bodies. In The Watchers, a complex and literary debut, Vincent Message unravels Nexus’ labyrinthine psyche via a detective who is working for a paranoid politician and a psychiatrist eager to prove that the justice system unfairly and too swiftly locked up a sick man.
The novel opens at Nexus’ trial. Witnesses testify that he was found asleep, curled up on three dead bodies, his head resting on a bloody bosom. Nexus shows no remorse, and after four days, he is found guilty and condemned to life in prison.
Samuel Drake, the governor of the region, is convinced, however, that the murders were not the random acts of a madman, but a conspiracy to kill Drake’s secret mistress and ruin his chances for reelection. He has Nexus transferred from prison to an insane asylum and hires Detective Rilviero to investigate. Rilviero teams up with Nexus’ psychiatrist, Joachim Traumfreund, to get to the bottom of his baffling behavior. Their investigation takes them deep into the mountains, to a refuge ironically shaped like a boat, and to even greater depths within the madman’s hypersomniac dream world, a place he calls Seabra.
Message’s haunting tale of morality and madness calls into question the very foundations of contemporary society and even the simplest accepted definition of madness. This elliptic and provocative novel constructs and deconstructs notions of reality, taking the reader ever further from the comfort of the usual views of sanity.