Éric Nataf

Deadly Diet Publication date : April 30, 2008

In this gripping thriller, his third to date, Eric Nataf tackles eating disorders and the food industry. His previous novels were respectively based on a virus invasion and on a series of murders using alternative medicine.

Hugo Man is a doctor working in the Nutrition Department at l'Hôtel-Dieu, a large Paris hospital, where he treats a steady stream of obese, bulimic and anorexic patients. At the end of an ordinary day, a 30-year-old woman called Berenice turns up. She is five feet six inches tall (1.70m.), weighs 176 pounds (80 kg) — and is not very charming. Dr Man tries to understand what happened to make Berenice put on so much weight. As the weeks go by, one question persists: why do all the solutions that he thinks of fail so miserably? Then Berenice suddenly drops dead, and Dr Man is at a complete loss. His letdown cannot be entirely attributed to his damaged medical pride. He is further bewildered when he learns a secret from a friend who seems to know a lot about certain tactics used in the food industry.

There is still more to come, but first Dr Man must wage a practically lone battle against eating disorders — or is it really against the hazards created by the food industry?

• “There's enough suspense here to make the average reader hyperventilate; a descent into darkness that becomes increasingly gloomy.” Epok magazine, about Le Mal par le mal.

• “Thrillers on techno-scientific subjects are no longer an Anglo-American exclusivity!” Dominique Leglu, Sciences et avenir

Granted: obesity has become a social issue. But what would happen if multinationals and biotechnological start-ups began manipulating our food to make us crave and devour more? Adopting the role of the lone cowboy, a doctor single-handedly takes on the threats of the twenty-first century.

Suspense, action and violence: the battle against obesity is transformed here into a spectacular thriller.

Eric Nataf is a physician, radiologist and sonogram specialist. Régime mortel is his third novel. He is the author of Autobiographie d'un virus (2004) and Le Mal par le mal (2006).