The Godmother

Hannelore Cayre


A French translator’s thrilling rise through the drugs trade

ISBN: 9781910400968

Published October 2019

224 pages


Winner of the European Crime Fiction Prize and Grand Prix de Littérature Policière

Meet Patience Portefeux – 53 years old, widowed mother of two, fluent Arabic speaker, upstanding French citizen… and soon to become The Godmother.

For 25 years she has toiled honestly, translating police wire-taps of north African drug gangs. She knows she’s just a footsoldier in a senseless politicians’ war against high-grade hashish, a tiny cog in the state machinery of racism and repression. But it’s always paid the bills – until now.

The scrimping French state pays its translators ‘off the books’, meaning there’ll be no pension to reward her long years of service. With her mother’s extortionate care home eating her savings, a lonely and impoverished old age lies ahead. So when Patience gets the chance to take possession of a vast stash of top-quality Moroccan Khardala, she doesn’t hesitate long. Exit the grey-suited civil servant. Enter The Godmother. Life in the banlieues will never be the same again.



Breaking Bad meets Weeds, with a French suburban twist… Patience is one of the standout characters in this year’s crime fiction crop, and you’ll be rooting for her all the way.” – The Guardian

“Rigorous – superbly plotted by an author who clearly knows the territory. Vivid, smoky dialogue and an ending that ticks all the boxes… Masterly.” – Le Figaro

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Additional information

Weight 0.4 kg
Dimensions 20 × 13 × 5 cm