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Publisher's Summary

A taut and darkly funny account of an unusual woman and her voyage into the underground ecosystem of crime and justice in contemporary France.  

Meet Patience Portefeux, 53, an underpaid Franco-Arab judicial interpreter for the Ministry of Justice who specialises in telephone tapping. 

Widowed after the sudden death of her husband, Patience is now wedged between university fees for her two grown-up daughters and nursing home costs for her ageing mother. She’s laboured for 25 years to keep everyone’s heads above water.  

Happening upon an especially revealing set of police wiretaps ahead of all other authorities, Patience makes a life-altering decision that sees her intervening in - and infiltrating - the machinations of a massive drug deal. 

She thus embarks on an entirely new career path: Patience becomes The Godmother’  

This is not life in the French idyll of postcards and stock photos. With a gallery of traffickers, dealers, police officers and politicians who are more real than life itself, a sharp and amusing gaze on everyday survival in contemporary France and an unforgettable woman at its centre, Hannelore Cayre’s best-selling novel shines a torchlight on a European criminal underground that has rarely been seen.

©2019 Hannelore Cayre (P)2019 Bolinda Publishing

What listeners say about The Godmother

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  • 06-25-20

Unexpectedly enthralling

I did not suspect most of the turns in this amusing, twisted story of a French translator’s windfall. While she goes about her day to day routine of work then visiting her thankless mother in the nursing home she realizes she that bit by bit she’d come upon information that can totally change her life.

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Thoroughtly enjoyable

I loved the story which is every narc and prosecutor's nightmare. Wiretaps in my jurisdiction are monitored by cops but I'm not sure about those which don't involve Spanish or English. A very interesting twist. Inventive and entertaining. I'm glad her boyfriend didn't feel the need to arrest her or insist on being cut in on hustle. I was interested in the insights provided on the translators' employment: 'contractors', not employees of the government, so no benefits. I think that's the way it is here, too, although the translators are part of a private company, which they formed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-20

Unlistenable.

Heard a great review for the book on Radio 4 so wanted to listen to it but, I've not finished it, and probably won't as the narrator is just awful (sorry). Terrible delivery and pace. Going to buy the hardcopy book instead.

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  • Liz
  • 09-11-20

Love this crime novel

Loved Patience, real mid life women, in an unusual situation. It's an easy read.

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  • Joanne
  • 10-26-19

Wild Pace, Rich, Biting Humor!

Really liked this for it's glorious descriptions, dark humor of a fantastically original protagonist! The author sets up the irony and comedy of such a juxtaposition of worlds extremely well, thoroughly enjoyed this book!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-20

So much fun

What an entertaining listen and clever twists throughout. A first generation refugee brought up in a privileged gangster’s household finds financial independence back in the hood.

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 04-19-20

Terrific story

I really enjoyed The Godmother I was taken to Paris and into her life. Don’t suppose it was a life I would agree with but as a story great. Loved the narrator Julia Franklin. Must find her in other stories. I recommend it.

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  • MISS
  • 02-11-20

‘Listen to it, you’ll love it.’

A story about immigrants. A wonderful story that is reasonably complex but easy to follow. Loved the literary references. The humour is fast paced and very colourful. The narrator really added to the story. If you liked the movie La Haine you will like this book. I would recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-02-19

Delightful - loved it

It is a great performance lifting the text. I very much enjoyed it and I would love to see it as a film