The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre
WINNER: EUROPEAN CRIME FICTION PRIZE
WINNER: GRAND PRIX DE LITTÉRATURE POLICIÈRE
Meet Patience Portefeux - 53 years old, widowed mother of two, fluent Arabic speaker, upstanding French citizen... and soon to become The Godmother.
For 25 years she has toiled honestly, translating police wire-taps of north African drug gangs. She knows she's just a footsoldier in a senseless politicians' war against high-grade hashish, a tiny cog in the state machinery of racism and repression. But it's always paid the bills - until now.
The scrimping French state pays its translators 'off the books', meaning there'll be no pension to reward her long years of service. With her mother's extortionate care home eating her savings, a lonely and impoverished old age lies ahead. So when Patience gets the chance to take possession of a vast stash of top-quality Moroccan Khardala, she doesn't hesitate long. Exit the grey-suited civil servant. Enter The Godmother. Life in the banlieues will never be the same again.