FESTIVAL OF STIFFS by André Héléna. Translated by Paul Sharkey.
Festival of Stiffs (Le Festival des macchabées) is the second of Héléna’s ‘Occupation’ novels in which he portrays a gharish vision of the period, exposing the close relationship between organised crime and France’s pro-Nazi collaborators. The story hits the ground running with the two unlikely ‘Resistants’, Maurice Delbart and his friend Bams, in Vichy France in the winter of 1943. Their intelligence-commissioned task is to obtain plans of German fortifications around Leucate in advance of possible Allied landings in Provençe.