Friday, 17 September 2010

Book Review - Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Summary - a very good book, an excellent read.

Kate follows the format from her excellent Labyrinth book of a few years back that I previously enjoyed and my wife liked a lot - so much so that Sepulcher was bought and read by her some time back and sat on the shelf waiting patiently for me to get round to it. The format in question is that of a time shift novel where there are two stories intertwined around each other one in the present day and one in the past - namely in this case in the 1870s.

The 1870s story line involves a family in Paris where we are introduced to one of the heroines of the book a teenage girl who is just blossoming into a woman. She is highly concerned about her brother a writer and journalist who early in the year lost his lover and who has had a series of rumours smearing his character. Suddenly they are offered a chance to visit an aunt - the much younger widow of an old uncle who they had hardly ever seen. So they escape Paris - and you know that this is a good thing as the net seems to be closing on the brother by the day. They lay a false trail indicating that they are travelling in one way but head in another to the Carcassonne region and the big house that is owned by the aunt. Here she is lead into much intrigue regarding the legends of the area and the occult actions of her late uncle some years back.

In the modern day we find our second heroine a musician who is writing a book about Debussy and in France to carry out research. However also she is a woman who knows little of her family past - her mother committed suicide and a cousin brought her up and she knows little of her family other than some belief that they came from France after the first world war. She is determined to find out more and heads to Carcassonne to find out more after a very bizarre and surprising Tarot reading.. Here the two stories intertwine around the people, the tarots, the occult and more.

A real page turner with some great little plot twists and turns and a brilliant climax where the two stories come to a fitting conclusion. Kate Mosse is a very accomplished writer. I'm not sure if the principal audience is female for this kind of thing but I throughly enjoyed it too.

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