A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
Set in Paris in 1909 at the heyday of La Belle Epoque, this historical thriller (and a stand-alone from Robertson, better known for her elegant Crowther and Westerman series) brings the city of light to life in all its decadent excesses, with opium-taking, stolen jewels and murder at the centre of the intrigue as a poor English portrait artist makes her way to the French capital and is drawn into a web of family intrigue. How our heroine turns from an initilly timid character into a strong, empowered woman as she strives to uncover mysteries and crime becomes a tale of adventure and self-development. Leisurely, evocative and rewardingly old-fashioned in the best sense of the term.
A tale full of drama and suspense in the winter of 1909-1910. It concerns a group of young ladies at the school of art in Paris. Central to the story is an impoverished English girl, Maud, who is befriended by a wealthy Russian, Tanya, ostensibly ‘finishing’ her education by acquiring drawing and social skills and improving her French and English. Maud is hoodwinked by a couple of confidence tricksters and Tanya rescues her. It’s a good, well constructed story.
Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Academy to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money.
While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle Epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.
'Matchless storytelling, gripping and moving in equal measure. Addictive'
'Chillingly memorable...an extraordinary thriller'
Publication date: 24/10/2013
Publisher: Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
|Publication date:||24th October 2013|
|Publisher:||Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,|
Imogen Robertson grew up in Darlington, studied Russian and German at Cambridge, and now lives in London. She directed for TV, film and radio before becoming a full-time author, and also writes and reviews poetry. Imogen won the Telegraph’s ‘First thousand words of a novel competition’ in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness, her first novel. Author photo © Rebecca KeyMore About Imogen Robertson