Missing Person

missing person cover image Missing Person

by Patrick Modiano
General Fiction
David R Godine Press
Paperback, 168 pages

Guy Roland has lived for ten years as a private investigator’s apprentice in Paris. The problem is that he has done so without an identity. An acute case of amnesia has left him with no memory whatsoever of who he is and none whatsoever of his origins and past. Upon the retirement of his mentor, Guy undertakes the ultimate investigation – the search for himself. At its surface, the book is a tight detective thriller - reminiscent of Chandler and Hammett – with loose ends beginning to be tied together as the story emerges. At another level it deals with the years of the Paris Occupation and the loss – intentional or otherwise – of memory and the self. We like the title of the French edition: Rue des Boutiques Obscures. Modiano was the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature.