Lavedrine sat back in his seat, a thin smile on his lips, stroking his chin with his thumb and forefinger. He seemed to be scrutinizing me, curious to hear what my reply would be.
"If Colonel Lavedrine can prove the truth of what he says," I returned, glancing between my accuser and the man I had accused, "I will apologize with all my heart. And if that apology does not satisfy him," I added, leaning back in my chair, shrugging my shoulder, "the prison cells are waiting for Prussians such as me, who are obliged to have guests such as you!"
I suddenly realized that the room was silent.
It is 1807 and Napoleon's army has swept over Prussia, leaving in its wake a conquered land occupied by the French. Local magistrate Hanno Stiffeniis has retreated to his home in the countryside in the hopes that he can keep himself away from the scrutiny of the occupying forces. But when Serge Lavedrine, Paris's famed criminologist, requires his services, Stiffeniis has little choice but to accept.
Three children have been found massacred in their beds. Their mother has disappeared without a trace. Terrified by the gruesome murders, the local townspeople have become convinced that the crimes are the work of the local Jewish population. The ghetto has been closed off, but the crowds gathered in the streets are desperate for justice of any kind. The French authorities want nothing more than a quick resolution and an end to the hysteria that has gripped the town.
Stiffeniis has his own reasons for accepting the case. The victims' father serves as a soldier in remote Kamentz, where the resistance to Napoleon's occupation is already developing. If Stiffeniis cannot discover the whereabouts of the mother and the identity of the murderer in time, he risks exposing the Prussian rebellion to the French before it has the strength to succeed. To succeed he must once again put to use the powers of deduction learned from his late teacher, the famed philosopher Immanuel Kant.
Michael Gregorio's internationally bestselling debut, Critique of Criminal Reason, was hailed by critics across the world and named one of Playboy's Best Books of 2006. Now its sequel, Days of Atonement, marks the thrilling return of one the most talented new voices in historical fiction.
Vampire fever is spreading throughout the countryside, and suspicions soon fall on the recently arrived Emma Rimmele. Investigator Hanno Stiffeniis must do everything he can to find the true culprit before the mob's hysteria reaches its breaking point and turns violent.
Set in a nineteenth-century world where people truly believed in vampires, Unholy Awakening pits rational, scientific detection against unhindered, violent superstition.
You talents have been brought to Our attention by a gentleman of eminence, who believes that you alone are capable of resolving a situation which holds Our beloved Königsberg in a grip of terror. All Our faith and consideration are due to the notable personage who suggested your name, and that same faith and consideration now resides in you. We have no reason to doubt that you will accept this Royal Commission, and act accordingly with all haste. The fate of the city lies in your hands.
--King Frederick Wilhelm III
It has been years since Immanuel Kant's landmark philosophical work, Critique of Pure Reason, brought him fame throughout Europe and made him Königsberg's best-known citizen. Now, rumors have begun to surface of a new work by this aging but still acute mind. Yet unlike his earlier work, this book will not examine the mind of the average man, but the mind of the serial killer.
Hanno Stiffeniis, a young magistrate, has been called to Königsberg to assist in the investigation of an enigmatic string of murders. Is it part of a plot formed by Napoleon's spies to undermine the Prussian king or the work of a solitary, unknown killer? The case would seem unsolvable, were it not for the assistance and unmatched intellect of his mentor, Immanuel Kant. Together Stiffeniis and the elderly, eccentric philosopher must track down the killer who has the city of Königsberg by the throat.
Hugely atmospheric, entertaining, and intelligent, Critique of Criminal Reason marks the outstanding debut of a new name in historical fiction.
Booklsit Starred Review
The second compelling thriller to feature resourceful park ranger Sebastiano Cangio, set against the glorious landscape of Italy’s Umbria region.
When the headless body of his fellow park ranger is found amidst the wooded hills of the Sybilline Mountains National Park, Sebastiano Cangio is convinced that he himself was the intended target. But what was Marzio doing out there on his own at dead of night? Is there any truth behind the wild stories of elves and goblins being seen in the surrounding forest?
Dismissive of the rumours of black magic and Satanism, Cangio is convinced that Marzio’s death heralds the return of the ‘ndrangheta, the most formidable criminal organization in Italy. If he is to escape their clutches a second time and uncover the truth about his colleague’s death, Cangio must take the initiative, draw on his finely-honed survival instincts and ... think wolf.
The beautiful Sibylline mountains of central Italy are plagued by earthquakes, but this has never been a problem for Spanish John. A talented church painter, repairing the damaged churches of the region is his livelihood. But when one of his paintings offends the Archbishop, he and his family must flee the walled city of Spoleto. A new town offers a new beginning, but it soon becomes clear that not all is what it seems; and a special portrait threatens everything John holds dear.