The Taste of Blood (Le Goût du Sang) was published in France in 1953. The action begins in occupied Perpignan a few days after the Allied landing on the Normandy coast. Stifled by his bourgeois parents, unappreciated by his contemporaries and by the opposite sex, the unprepossessing 19 year old Jacques Vallon discovers that the Occupation of his native France and the imminent arrival of the Allied armies have presented him with the opportunity to vent his spleen as the avenging hand of “resistance”. His war has little to do with patriotism or antifascism but everything to do with his cold-blooded facility with the gun and his newly discovered “taste for blood”. Both of these and his personal frustrations have hoisted him to a position where he wields power of life and death and involve him in a duel with the collaborationist Milice. A brief season of hectic (anti-) heroism before the ghastly prospect (for him) of a return to the normality and anonymity at which he chafes. What will be the ultimate cost to all as a result of his taste for blood? One of André Héléna’s best novels.