Where does the coldness of this woman who refuses to mourn the disappearance of her husband come from? And why is she slow to alert the gendarmerie? What makes her put so much energy into rebuilding the lives of all of them, namely herself and her three children? Catherine hasn’t seen François for days and doesn’t seem to be more moved than that. In this lost corner of the Auvergne where rumours hurt and kill, there is no question of lending a hand to the slightest slander. And especially not to his mother-in-law, Michelle Renon, a lonely widow who devotes a cult to her son and seems alone in worrying about his absence. This is Virginia’s first investigation since she left the mythical 36, quai des Orfèvres for the province, to the amazement of her relatives. For a woman used to sordid affairs, it’s a strange start. As for Pierre, he watches his new team-mate with an eye that is both benevolent and worried. What has she come here for? Who was François Renon? An avid runner? A great father? A runaway husband? A runner at the end of his run? A loser? All the possible killers of this son of a family are all facets of a victim foretold. Truth and province, in this noir novel, never mix.