Éric Nataf

Fighting Fire with Fire Publication date : April 17, 2008

A housing project in a tough Paris suburb. Fourth floor left: a decomposing body lies in one room. The dead man was a doctor. It is 10 a.m., and his first patients are waiting outside the surgery. The door is locked. The stench is unbearable. Someone calls the fire department, then the police. Detective Superintendent Leo Dix arrives. Scattered around the mutilated body lie four cans of spray deodorant, syringes, insulin, three tiny white pills, and a teddy bear. Strange, says Dix, who thinks he's seen the teddy bear before.

A few days later, Dix is told to look into a three-year-old case that seems similar. The evidence includes three tiny white pills and a toy fire engine… that used to belong to Dix. Serial toys belonging to a serial killer? Perhaps all this is part of a vast plot? But what if the superintendent himself was the solution to the mystery? Could his parents, who died in obscure circumstances, have been murdered? But by whom, and why?

A third case soon re-emerges from the past, and, once again, there are three tiny white pills — homeopathic medication.

Following the success of his earlier, gripping thriller, Autobiographie d'un virus, in which viruses invaded human genes, Eric Nataf has imagined a frightening new plot. Could the superintendent in charge of the investigation be the killer? Has he been applying the homeopathic principle of fighting like with like, or fire with fire?

This is a fascinating medical thriller in the form of a descent into hell.

“There's enough suspense here to make the average reader hyperventilate; a descent into darkness that becomes increasingly gloomy.” Epok magazine

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

Eric Nataf is a physician, radiologist and sonographer specialising in gynaecology. He is in charge of teaching at Hôpital Cochin, in Paris. He is the author of Autobiographie d'un virus (2004) and Régime mortel (2008).