With an almost “nothombesque” regularity, Philippe Djian concocts very digestible novels almost every year, without however sinking into lightness.

Known for dissecting often explosive couple relationships, he takes, with Without counting, paths that are refreshing for the author, but tortuous for his characters.

In the center of the chessboard, Nathan, editor in a daily newspaper and helpless following a failed vasectomy. At his side live his wife Sylvie and his mother-in-law Gaby, poet, shareholder of the aforementioned newspaper and owner of land highly coveted by investors. By handing it over to build an amusement park, the family nucleus would hit the jackpot; but Gaby stubbornly opposes it. Sylvie is exasperated, the political elite gets involved, the newspaper is targeted, then the mysterious deaths accumulate.

By juggling with an unreliable narrator and a story with fuzzy beacons, the author breaks out of his marital narrative shackles to engage in a pleasant and rather confusing treasure hunt.