Hector and the Secrets of Love, By François Lelord

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The Independent Culture

This follow-up to the bestselling jeu d'esprit, Hector and the Search for Happiness, sees the fictional psychiatrist Dr Hector on a new globe-trotting mission -- this time to reveal the truth about l'amour.

Hired by a large pharmaceutical company to track down the inventor of a revolutionary new love potion, Hector is forced to leave behind his troubled relationship with his own girlfriend, Clara.

His quest takes him to the Far East and into the arms of a new lover, forcing him to plumb the mysteries of the human heart.

Like a cut-price Montaigne, Hector's faux naïve insights range from the comic-strip trite - "Love is, smiling the moment you see one another" - to the eminently sensible: "Nothing eases the pain of love better than focusing on a task."