The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge

The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge

  • Hardback
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New Year's Day, 2000. Hunters on their way home through a forest in the Jura stumble upon a half-circle of dead bodies lying in the freshly fallen snow. A nearby holiday chalet contains the debris of a seemingly ordinary Christmas: champagne, decorations, presents for the dead children. The hunters are questioned and sent away. As they descend the mountain, a large dark car rises past them in the gloom. The woman within barely acknowledges their presence. The Judge, Dominique Carpentier, is in charge of the investigation. Commissaire Andre Schweigen is waiting for her. They have encountered this suicide sect before. In the chalet they find a strange leather-bound book, written in mysterious code, containing maps of the stars. The book of The Faith leads them to the Composer, Friedrich Grosz, who is connected to every one of the dead. Surely he must be implicated in The Faith? And so the pursuit begins. Carpentier, Schweigen and the Judge's idiosyncratic assistant Gaelle, are drawn into a world of complex family ties, ancient cosmic beliefs and seductive, disturbing music. Carpentier, known as the sect hunter, prides herself on her ability to expose frauds and charlatans. She also likes to win. Has she met her match in the Composer? Hurtling breathlessly through the vineyards of Southern France to the gabled houses of Lubeck, through cathedrals, opera houses, museums and the cobbled streets of an Alpine village, this ferocious new novel from the acclaimed author of "Hallucinating Foucault" is a metaphysical mystery of astonishing verve and more

Product details

  • Hardback
  • 153 x 234mm
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0747591490
  • 9780747591498

Review quote

'One of the best novels of its year It is a thriller, a romance and a critique of dryness Ever since I read it, I have been encouraging everyone else to do so' A.S. Byatt (on Hallucinating Foucault) 'Every bit as good as her debut, Hallucinating Foucault, which is saying a good deal Penetrating and sparkling' Philip Hensher (on Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees) 'Patricia Duncker should be made a DBE, elected to the Academie Francaise and have a statue erected in the main square of her home town' Louis de Bernieres (on James Miranda Barry)show more

About Patricia Duncker

PATRICIA DUNCKER is the author of four novels, Hallucinating Foucault (1996), winner of the McKitterick Prize and the Dillons First Fiction Award, James Miranda Barry (1999) and The Deadly Space Between (2002). Her fourth novel, Miss Webster and Cherif (2006) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2007. She has published two collections of short fiction, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (1997), shortlisted for the Macmillan Silver Pen Award, and Seven Tales of Sex and Death (2003), all of which have been widely translated. She is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of more