DOA (Dead on Arrival) comes from Lyon and is a novelist and screenwriter. He has already published two novels in the Fleuve Noir collection, La ligne de Sang and Les fous d’avril, grand prize winner at the festival Quais du Polar in 2005. Having become a compulsive reader later in life, he also enjoys the cinema, comics, David Bowie’s music, Robustos and Gran Panatelas as well as Laphroaig. Citoyens Clandestins is a thriller which takes us deep into the heart of the French Secret Services. After two years of investigation, research and interviews, D.O.A. has put together a novel centred on three main characters ; there is a young French civil servant, of Arab origin, whose job is to penetrate Islamic cells undercover, a young woman from the Maghreb, who is an idealistic journalist who gets caught up in the cynicism of reasons of state, and finally, a merciless killer, hired by France, who uses expeditious methods to say the least.
- Citoyens Clandestins (Gallimard, 2007)
A brief summary of Citoyens Clandestins :
The story starts in the spring of 2001, just a few months before the 2002 presidential elections. The French Secret Services have been informed that a Lebanese resident of France has been spotted in Syria buying an odourless lethal Iraqi gas sold several years earlier by France when Saddam was still considered a good friend. Following this discovery, the external affairs espionage services swing into action. Karim, who has been undercover for several months in the 20th borough of Paris to watch the Poincaré mosque, has been asked to find out as much as possible about the network and its leaders and to feed information to his bosses. This information will be used by a secret agent codenamed Lynx who lives outside of the law and who, taking justice in his own hands, will kill all the suspects one by one.
It would be easy were the Poincaré mosque not also monitored by the French Special Branch (which comes under the Department of the Interior) who notice there have been a few changes and tighten up security. While the suspects are disappearing one by one, the police have decided to ensure a strict application of the law. And to cap it all, a mysterious mole informs an investigative journalist assisted by a young novice journalist of the bad deeds that are being committed with the knowledge of the Republic. Persuaded they have the scoop of a lifetime, the two journalists start an investigation that will soon overwhelm them. Who is manipulating whom ? What are the connections between the various State services during the cohabitation period, knowing that the Department of External Affairs comes under the President whereas the Department of the Interior comes under the Prime Minister ? Can State cynicism and terrorist threats go well together ? Welcome to the unfathomable universe of Citoyens clandestins…