This article examines the works of two contemporary French crime writers, Colin Niel and Antonin Varenne, whose crime novels are set in marginalized spaces and places in France: rural areas in the Hexagone and French Guiana. Why did Niel and Varenne choose to set their novels in the “margins of the society” (Gorrara 2003, 16)? Do these novels follow the French néo-noir tradition of social critique and politically engaged fiction (Levet 2006)? To which extent do they fall within the spectrum of the ethnopolar, or under the umbrella of postcolonial fiction? The seven noir novels in our corpus depict French outskirts, both within metropolitan France and in overseas territories, raising burning questions about French identity and national borders. But their divergence on the environmental issue draws a clear political fracture between the two authors.