The book is a phenomenal success, and at a reception organised in his honour we form the impression that some people have doubts about his ability to write such a book at a young age, with limited life experience. But he carries it off, and what's more he meets a young woman, Alice Fursac, a literary expert whom he first saw at a college where he was collecting stuff as part of his now former job. Inevitably he and Alice become an item, and we jump forward to see them on the way to visit her parents, a wealthy couple who live in a mansion in the south of France.
But although Mathieu now has everything he desired things are starting to unravel. He has received a large advance towards his next book, but of course he is struggling to write anything comparable to this initial successful novel. A former boyfriend of Alice, Stanislas (Stan) then turns up, and he soon shows signs of doubting Mathieu. Then disaster strikes as, while at a book signing, a man asks him to dedicate the book citing the name of the owner of the journal. And then the blackmail begins.