Law and Order (Le Maintien de l'Ordre) by Claude Ollier, translated by Ursule Molinaro, fiction, cloth, 126 pp.ISBN 87376-015-8
A man waits to be killed in a town by the sea, probably in North Africa. His room is described, the sound of the elevator, its vibrations, the light at different hours, the shifting positions of the men waiting below for him who follow him in their Buick, slowly at a distance, then so close that only their faces are visible in his rearview mirror. Chronology is jumbled. It is never certain when and whether he is apprehended. The climax is all through the story.
The ocean liner that was passing the jetty a little while ago has taken a south-west course. It is now quite far off the coast. Its white hull—a tiny hyphen, still visibly undulating—glitters every now and then in the middle of the neutral uniform vastness where nothing guides the eye, where no distinct line divides the sky and water, only the presence of the ship imposing itself as one of the last still discernible, undeniable parts of the water—which comes as a momentary surprise because, without the ship, the eye would have fixed the horizon at a lower line.
from Law and Order
Claude Ollier is the author of more than fifteen books, including novels, plays and criticism. He lives in Maule, France. Despite being one of the major forces behind the nouveau roman and despite decades of critical success in his native France, Claude Ollier is virtually unknown in the United States.