Frederic Dard (1921-2000) was one of the best known and loved French crime writers of the twentieth century. Enormously prolific, he wrote more than three hundred thrillers, suspense stories, plays and screenplays, under a variety of noms de plume, throughout his long and illustrious career, which also saw him win the 1957 Grand prix de litterature policiere for The Executioner Cries, available from Pushkin Vertigo in Autumn 2016.David Bellos is an English translator and biographer. His translations include several of Georges Simenon's Maigret novels, as well as Paul Fournel's Dear Reader, published by Pushkin Press. He has also written biographies of Perec, Jacques Tati and Romain Gary and an introduction to translation, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything.
Melancholy and atmospheric, with a twist worthy of Agatha Christie at her devious best, this brief tale has the hallmark of classic French noir Guardian Hugely atmospheric The Times The French master of noir Observer Alongside the Maigret novels of Georges Simenon there is a rich vein of period French crime still to be tapped. Frederic Dard is a case in point Daily Mail Disturbing from the outset with strong echoes of Dard's hero Simenon Sunday Times Crime Club (star pick) This short, sly novel of the night has more than enough substance and mystery to keep readers awake and engrossed The National It's exceedingly clever - when surprising things happen they slap you in the face for being so obvious, so necessary and so vital yet so surprising at the same time, and you can only squirm more enjoyably into your seat as you read on Bookbag A typically tense and yearning tale... One eagerly awaits forthcoming translations to see whether he can do the trick over again Wall Street Journal It's a brilliant book, and though Frederic Dard may have been 'one of the best known and loved French crime writers of the twentieth century' he's new to me, so this was a real discovery and treat all rolled into one Desperate Reader It's a short, sharp story featuring a handful of brilliantly portrayed characters, and is structured as intriguingly and cunningly as an Escher drawing Thriller Books Journal It is a tribute to the quality of the writing that Dard can contain so much tension, surprise and mystery in so few words Crime Review Imbued with a tantalising mix of Patricia Highsmith and Alfred Hitchcock Raven Crime Reads If you're a fan of Film Noir, you'll love Bird in a Cage... if all the novels in the Vertigo series are this good, I predict I'll be needing more bookshelves -- Lee Randall Randall Writes A slick novella... the ending is deliciously ambiguous... a triumph The Worm Hole The literary descendant of Simenon and Celine Le Figaro No question: for me, he was the greatest -- Philippe Geluck His language is cutting, his point-of-view original and his verdict uncompromising... One of the few twentieth-century authors to win both critical acclaim and great popularity Solidarite Militaire France's most popular post-war author L'Express