Anouar Benmalek

Translated from French by Simon Pare

Arabia Books 2011

Fayard 2009


After Algerias's brutal and protracted War of Independence, Aziz does his best to lead a normal life, free from blood and conflict. But when his 13-year-old daughter is abducted he is confronted by the harsh reality of modern Algiers, and finds himself at the mercy of a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and takes savage pleasure in turning a family against each other.

How far will a father go to save his child? Aziz must face the past and is forced to act on his darkest fears. Based in part on the author's own experiences, 'Abduction' is the stark and gritty tale of a game of life and death, whose origins lie in the unmarked graves of old crimes that refuse to be forgotten. The threat is real and time is running out.


Simon Pare's translation proves masterful in clinching Benmalek's weighty but pacey narration and its garrulous madness. —The Independent, 2 September 2011