The Godmother

Hannelore Cayre

About the book

Meet Patience Portefeux, a fifty-three-year-old, underpaid Franco-Arab interpreter for the Ministry of Justice who specializes in phone tapping. Widowed after the sudden death of her husband, Patience is now wedged between university fees for her grown-up daughters and nursing home costs for her aging mother.

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 the French idyll of postcards and stock photos. With a gallery of traffickers, dealers, police officers, and politicians, The Godmother casts its sharp and amusing gaze on everyday survival in contemporary France. With an unforgettable woman at its center, Hannelore Cayre’s bestselling novel reveals a European criminal underground that has rarely been seen.

ISBN: 978-1-77041-543-0

Paris and the Godmother and the Godmother in Paris.... who is not that old at all, insanely clever and funny. Patience Portefeux (the name alone!) translates wiretapped telephone conversations from Arabic into French for the Paris drug department until she gets into business herself. Her life story is no less absurd and amusing. With Patience through Paris: Essential reading recommendation.

Anna Kuen

Anna Kuen

Artist & Model


in the Literature Atlas

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