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Publication in France:
15 June 2017

320 pages

Do not tell dad

François-Xavier Dillard

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The maternal instinct is the most powerful weapon in the world – especially when it’s turned against one’s own children.

Fanny works as a florist and leads a conventional existence in a nice house in the Parisian suburbs with Mickael and their twins Arno and Victor. While one of them is gentleness and honesty personified, the other is like his malevolent doppelganger, possessed with a genuine penchant for evil. His mother finds it increasingly difficult to deal with his outbursts of violence and fears the disturbing sadism which she sees in his eyes. The screaming of her children plunges her inexorably back into a past that she never wanted to exhume…

And then one day Glenn, a celebrated American pianist, moves in next door and upsets the fragile balance of their family life. While Fanny persists in trying to hide her true anguish from her husband, the virtuoso gradually insinuates himself into the family’s daily life and takes the dutiful Arno under his wing. The pretence begins to fall apart, Fanny sinks into depression and Mickael starts to fill in the missing parts of the jigsaw. Is she really the woman she claims to be? But the secret must remain buried at any cost and this irreproachable father must never find out the truth.

Following on from the detective novel Fais-le pour maman, the winner of the 2017 Prix des Nouvelles Voix du Polar awarded by Pocket, François-Xavier Dillar returns with a gripping and disturbing thriller which tackles the ultimate taboo: the love (or otherwise) of a mother for her children.


François-Xavier Dillard was born in Paris in 1971. Following on from Austerlitz 10.5 (Belfond, 2016), Ne dis rien à papa is her fourth novel.

More information in french