“A fascinating look at the power of the human mind to solve problems both internal and external, set in one of the most important, progressive periods of modern history. Mr. Sedgwick pays tribute to Belle Epoque Paris with a tale that is lovingly aware of its setting, which is perhaps the only time and place that a crime this complex, with characters this bizarre and compelling, could have been both perpetrated and ultimately solved.”
“Fin de siècle Paris provides the backdrop for this outstanding thriller from Sedgwick, who creates a sense of intimacy with the reader through darkly humorous omniscient narration reminiscent of Dumas. Sedgwick thoughtfully explores fundamental questions about the relationship of memory and identity.”
Starred review – Publishers Weekly
From left to right are the UK and US covers.
In Paris, in the year 1899, Marcel Després is arrested for the murder of his wife, and then transferred to the famous Salpêtrière asylum. And there the story might have stopped. But the doctor assigned to his care soon realises this is no ordinary patient: Marcel Després, known on stage as ‘Monsieur Memoire’, is a man who cannot forget anything.
And the policeman assigned to his case soon realises that something else is at stake: for why else would the criminal have been hurried off to hospital, and why are his superiors so keen for the whole affair to be closed?
This crime involves something bigger and stranger than a lovers’ fight – something with links to the highest and lowest establishments in France. The policeman and the doctor between them must unravel the mystery… but the answers lie inside Marcel’s head.
And how can he tell what is significant when he remembers every detail of every moment of his entire life?