The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge
The bodies are discovered on New Year's Day, sixteen dead in the freshly fallen snow. The adults lie stiff in a semicircle; the children, in pajamas and overcoats, are curled at their feet. When he hears the news, Commissaire Andre Schweigen knows who to call: Dominique Carpentier, the Judge, also known as the "sect hunter." Carpentier sweeps into the investigation in thick glasses and red gloves, and together the Commissaire and the Judge begin searching for clues in a nearby chalet. Among the decorations and unwrapped presents of a seemingly ordinary holiday, they find a leather-bound book, filled with mysterious code, containing maps of the stars. The book of the Faith leads them to the Composer, Friedrich Grosz, who is connected in some way to every one of the dead. Following his trail, Carpentier, Schweigen, and the Judge's assistant, Gaelle, are drawn into a world of complex family ties, seductive music, and ancient cosmic beliefs. Hurtling breathlessly through the vineyards of Southern France to the gabled houses of Lubeck, Germany, through cathedrals, opera houses, museums, and the cobbled streets of an Alpine village, this ferocious new novel is a metaphysical mystery of astonishing verve and power.
A gripping literary page-turner, for fans of Dan Brown, The Snowman and The Rapture by Liz Jensen The Deadly Space Between and James Miranda Barry will be reissued to coincide with this incredible new look for Patricia Duncker
Shortlisted for CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction 2010.
'Duncker out-Dan-Browns Dan Brown ... thrilling' Daily Telegraph 'At once an utterly terrifying murder mystery, a satirical examination of middle-class ennui, a psychology primer about cult formation and a strikingly beautiful journey through a European landscape rarely glimpsed in books or films' Financial Times 'A sublime confection of art, ideas and gorgeous writing' The Times 'A multilayered, hugely intelligent book ... totally compelling' Literary Review
Patricia Duncker is the author of the novels Hallucinating Foucault (winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize), The Deadly Space Between, and The Doctor, as well as collections of short stories and essays. Her work has been shortlisted for the Macmillan Silver Pen Award and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. She is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Manchester.