Olivier Paquet


“A machine, a somewhat human machine or a human...

- You ask me? It's about manipulating a crowd with slogans, words, images, videos. Does one really need a computer to achieve this feat? Does one need a machine to convince kids to blow themselves up in a theater? We have religions and doctrines that are much more effective, much less expensive. A machine can be stopped, not an idea.”

France, 2035. Artificial Intelligences (AIs) are an integral part of daily life.

Vincent, a police officer, works with “Chéris”, AIs that mimic young children on social networks for the purpose of tracking down pedophiles.

Esther is an “archecologist”. From souvenir photographs posted on social networks, she reconstructs landscapes devastated by pollution with the goal to give them back their natural aspect.

One day, she realizes that a photograph kept in her own digital space has been edited, and that she is not the only one to have had her memories altered in this way. Vincent is also a victim, which leads the two characters to investigate together. Who is responsible for these substitutions of memories, and what is their goal?

At the same time, the French people are rising up against their politicians. Their anger is rumbling, and it is stirred up by some anonymous preachers on social networks, among which "D." stands out…



“After Les Machines fantômes, Olivier Paquet’s new novel Composite establishes him as one of France’s greatest technothriller writers. In it, he develops his concerns about the impact of algorithms on our lives in greater depth.

Composite borrows from political anticipation and crime fiction. Anxiety and ethical questions are intertwined, with a pen that grips us. Can our memories be reduced to a set of composite pixels as the thread of our personality and relationships? Are human beings as binary as their technologies? Composite is as disturbing a novel as it is relevant to our individual and collective memory in the digital age.”

Marcus Dupont-Besnard, Numerama

Aurélien Police
April 25, 2024
8,50 €
10,8 x 17,8 cm

Digital reading copy