by Pierre Lamaitre
Publication Date : November 6, 2018
Pages : 384
Synopsis from Publisher :
Alain Delambre is a fifty-seven-year-old former HR executive, drained by four years of hopeless unemployment. The only job offers he gets are for low-level, demoralizing positions. He has reached rock bottom and can see no way out.
So when a major company finally invites him in for an interview, Alain is ready to do anything--borrow money, shame his wife and his daughters, and even participate in the ultimate recruitment test: a role-playing game that involves taking hostages.
Alain vows to commit body and soul in this struggle to regain his dignity. But if he had realized that the odds were stacked against him from the beginning, he never would have tried to land the position. Now, his fury is limitless. And what began as a role-playing game could quickly become a bloodbath.
There is an old saying,“ People are like tea bags. If you want to know what they are made of stick them in hot water.” I believe this saying applies to the good and bad characteristics which emerge when people are in a difficult or challenging situation. With respect to Inhuman Resources, Pierre Lemaitre’s latest English translation, readers discover a character pushed to the brink by unemployment, fear of poverty, and the need to regain his dignity.
At 57 years old Alain Delambre is out of work. With few prospects but in need of an income, he has taken a job for which he is way over qualified. When an unexpected and seemingly impossible job opportunity presents itself, Alain is determined to get the job. He studies the company and its upper management endlessly. The company has a very unusual and morally questionable interview process. This does not deter Alain, it makes him even more committed to getting the job. As he prepares for the interview, he begins to unravel. Alain’s determination and desperation becomes his undoing.
After reading Lemaitre’s 2017 release Blood Wedding, I realized Lemaitre had a flare for the dramatic. Like Blood Wedding the central plot of Inhuman Resources is realistic and relatable. However when things turn bad for the characters they get really bad. At this point the drama kicks into high gear. The plot is then filled with over the top reactions and unthinkable actions take center stage. While some readers may be turned off by the dramatics, I found them quite enjoyable. No matter where I thought the story was going I was wrong. Unpredictability and truly insane characters is what kept me glued to Inhuman Resources.
Many readers will find Alain unlikeable. The lengths he is willing to go to in order to get a job are indeed despicable. However I still found myself feeling sympathy for Alain. The idea of losing my job so close to retirement is truly frightening. I can understand his fear of an uncertain future and the possibility of losing everything. While the story is filled with theatrics, the situation Alain finds himself in is very realistic and could happen to anyone. Inhuman Resources will make readers really think about what they could be capable of in Alain’s situation.
Inhuman Resources is a thrilling and captivating read. Any book which makes me think about what I would do in the characters shoes I automatically like. Add in severely flawed characters and a morally corrupt company, I am in for a read I will love. Readers looking for a crime fiction read with a corporate twist should Inhuman Resources to their list of must reads.
*Thanks to Quercus Books for my free review copy of Inhuman Resources.*
Murder and Moore Rating :
4.5 out of 5 Stars