The 2025 gendarmerie novel prize was awarded to Marco Pianelli, for his novel Les entrails de la nuit, about the kidnapping of a little girl, the gendarmerie and Plon editions said on Thursday. The story relates the investigation of a gendarmerie major, Victor Tchaïev, writes Plon in a press release. The investigator, “tough and reputed to be infallible,” must find Lucie, eight and a half years old, who has just been kidnapped. “Thanks to her connected watch, she was able to sound the alert and the countdown is on: in twenty-four hours, the chances of finding her alive will be less than tiny,” specifies Plon.

The winner was chosen by the jury by a “clear majority”, for his “writing qualities, the originality of his main character, his breathtaking rhythm, his effective suspense worthy of a real page-turner”, adds the gendarmerie.

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Marco Pianelli holds a master’s degree in literature and is passionate about combat sports. He taught French for several years in France and abroad, in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. He now works in the field of professional integration, at the Bouches-du-Rhône departmental council. He is already the author of two detective novels, The Shadow of the Night and The Mechanics of the Worst. Last year, the prize was awarded to a gendarme, Robin Fischhoff, for his novel Mekiro, which recounted the investigation of a captain after the discovery of the corpse of a young man in Polynesia.

Since 1946, the police have had a similar literary prize, the Quai des Orfèvres prize, published by a competitor of Plon, Éditions Fayard. It was awarded this year to Martial Caroff, academic and specialist in ancient volcanism, for his novel Don’t thank me!.