Once you start this novel, you’ll never put it down. No need to look hard for words to express our enthusiasm for Les Ames Rivales, the book is simply fabulous. In every aspect. The story’s twists and turns will leave you breathless ; the descriptions (Brooklyn, New Orleans, Manhattan, seasons, neighborhoods) are outstanding ; the dialogues subtly speak of sentiments yet convey humor ; and the characters are psychologically solid and complex (even though they change identities and bodies !). An unbelievable story and yet you believe it - and that’s where the author’s genius lies. Don’t forget, this might be René Manzor’s first novel, but he is a proven master in genre cinema and television.
Les Âmes Rivales tells an impossible love story which takes place beyond time - and beyond death. There is Jahal, an Amerindian shaman who is in love with the stunning Cassandre-Onienta. There is Father Arthur, the confidant. And there is Thomas Wells. Wells is a young, single father and philosophy professor who teaches in a derelict neighborhood (the one he grew up in). He is trying to raise his daughter Melly, your run-of-the-mill teenager, as best he can. Twenty-seven years later, he is a famous congressman whose wife tries to kill him, which only enhances his political image. And lastly, there is a lawyer, a wonder boy who suffers from amnesia. As he goes deeper into the case, he will discover clues about his own past, and his own destiny. Amidst this backdrop, Manzor’s brilliantly manipulated intrigue is what stands out. He uses the supernatural, flashbacks, and changes of angle with brio.
It is impossible to resume this tale which is worthy of The Sixth Sense, Night Shyalaman’s fabulous film. With this novel, René Manzor proves that he plays in the same league with the great Anglo-Saxon thriller novel writers.
M. Aïssaoui, Le Figaro, 14 juin 2012
"A captivating story that never falls into clichés and skillfully juggles paradoxical situations ; the suspense never slows down and the reader is left breathless. The brilliant literary début of a talented filmmaker."
Alain Schlockoff, L’Écran Fantastique, May 2012