Patrick Modiano explores the boundaries of recollection in a "mesmerizing, enigmatic novel" (Publishers Weekly)
“Nobel Prize winner Modiano’s title smartly ties together the theme, plot, and ambience of his latest book . . . The past overlaps and memories half-emerge in classic Modiano fashion, just as a message in invisible ink tentatively reveals itself in the right light.”—Library Journal
"An enchanting read."—Ploughshares
The latest work from Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano, Invisible Ink is a spellbinding tale of memory and its illusions. Private detective Jean Eyben receives an assignment to locate a missing woman, the mysterious Noëlle Lefebvre. While the case proves fruitless, the clues Jean discovers along the way continue to haunt him. Three decades later, he resumes the investigation for himself, revisiting old sites and tracking down witnesses, compelled by reasons he can’t explain to follow the cold trail and discover the shocking truth once and for all.
A number one best seller in France, hailed by critics as “breathtakingly beautiful” (Les Inrockuptibles) and “refined and dazzling” (Le Journal du Dimanche), Invisible Ink is Modiano’s most thrilling and revelatory work to date.
Nobel laureate Modiano delivers a mesmerizing, enigmatic novel in the vein of many of his best-known works. Like Missing Person, the book is about a private eye albeit a shabby and halfhearted one who once briefly worked for the Hutte Detective Agency in Paris, and like Dora Bruder, it centers on the investigation of an unsolved disappearance. But Modiano eschews the political overtones that drove those books, telling instead a story about growing old and the gaps and omissions that make up a life. Jean Eyben looks back on his 20s, when he was assigned to investigate the disappearance of No lle Lefebvre. As he searched, he had a series of phantomlike encounters with people whose lives each briefly intersected with Lefebvre's in the 1960s. Her fate becomes a lifelong obsession, and Eyben recounts the story circuitously, as if remembering it as he writes, which casts an irresistible spell. As Eyben's search deepens, he wonders whether Lefebvre has some connection to his own life. All of Modiano's works are variations on a theme, and his newest is no different, but its dreamlike prose and a beguiling structural twist make it a worthy and satisfying addition to his accomplished oeuvre.