Book review: Smoking Kills + competition

By Antoine Laurain
Translated from the French by Louise Lalaurie
Published by Gallic Books

Synopsis: When head-hunter Fabrice Valentine faces a smoking ban at work, he decides to undertake a course of hypnotherapy to rid himself of the habit. At first the treatment works, but his stress levels begin to rise when he is passed over for an important promotion and he finds himself lighting up again – but with none of his previous enjoyment.

Until he discovers something terrible: he accidentally causes a man’s death, and needing a cigarette to calm his nerves, he enjoys it more than any other previous smoke. What if he now needs to kill every time he wants to properly appreciate his next cigarette?

How did this book end up in my hands? I received an advance review copy from the publisher and I was extremely happy as I don’t read enough fiction in translation.

Was it a page-turner? Yes, putting this book down to deal with daily responsibilities was extremely difficult. I still managed to finish it within 24 hours. I had to! Fabrice is an extremely likeable character and I found the pace of the narration light and quick.

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? Yes, the book completely delivered on its promise.

Did I like the ending? [no spoilers] Yes, dark and humorous from the first to the last page. The ending isn’t a complete surprise as you know since the opening chapter how it turns out for Fabrice but the journey is still worth taking.

Did the book leave me with unanswered questions? No, it’s all exquisitely wrapped up.

Three words to describe it. Quirky. Witty. Dark.

Do I like the cover? I can see that it suits the book but I don’t particularly like it. The colours are maybe a little too stark. Fabrice is more subtle than that.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, I haven’t but - based on my enjoyment of this boo - I'd love to read more by him.

Will I be recommending this book? Yes. It’s well-written and entertaining – for smokers and non-smokers alike!

Anything else? Yes! The publisher has kindly offered one copy of Smoking Kills and you could be the lucky reader who wins it! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the competition post by 15/07. UK only. All comments left below will count as extra entries (one per person). Good luck!


  1. Love the sound of it. Will be interesting to read it in French also.


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