The Club Dumas

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A provocative literary thriller that playfully pays tribute to classic tales of mystery and adventure

 

Lucas Corso is a book detective, a middle-aged mercenary hired to hunt down rare editions for wealthy and unscrupulous clients. When a well-known bibliophile is found dead, leaving behind part of the original manuscript of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers, Corso is brought in to authenticate the fragment. He is soon drawn into a swirling plot involving devil worship, occult practices, and swashbuckling derring-do among a cast of characters bearing a suspicious resemblance to those of Dumas's masterpiece. Aided by a mysterious beauty named for a Conan Doyle heroine, Corso travels from Madrid to Toledo to Paris on the killer's trail in this twisty intellectual romp through the book world.

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More by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

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WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION’S INTERNATIONAL DAGGER

For fans of Alan Furst and Carlos Ruiz Zafón comes a haunting and layered thriller filled with history, adventure, suspense, and an unforgettable love story—by the internationally bestselling author Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
 
Cádiz, 1811: The Spanish port city has been surrounded by Napoleon’s army for a year. Their backs to the sea, its residents endure routine bombardments and live in constant fear of a French invasion. And now the bodies of random women have begun to turn up throughout the city—victims of a shadowy killer.
 
Police Comisario Rogelio Tizón has been assigned the case. Known for his razor-sharp investigation skills—as well as his brutal interrogation methods—Tizón has seen everything. Or so he thought. His inquiry into the murders reveals a surprising pattern: Each victim has been found where a French bomb exploded. Logic tells him to pass it off as coincidence; his instinct tells him otherwise, and he begins to view Cádiz as a living chessboard, with himself and the killer the main players.
 
In a city pushed to the brink, violence and desperation weave together the lives of a group of unlikely people: the Spanish taxidermist who doubles as a French spy; the young woman who uses her father’s mercantile business to run the enemy blockade; the rough-edged corsair who tries to resist her charms; and the brilliant academic furiously trying to perfect the French army’s artillery and bring Cádiz to its knees once and for all. And as Napoleon presses closer, Tizón must make his next move on the bomb-scarred chessboard before the killer claims another pawn.
 
Combining fast-paced narrative with scrupulous historical accuracy, this smart, suspenseful tale of human resilience is Arturo Pérez-Reverte at the height of his talents.
 
Praise for The Siege
 
“A genre-bending literary thriller . . . Pirates; serial killings; steamy, unrequited love: Pérez-Reverte imbues the sensational with significance. . . . His descriptions of the town and people of Cádiz capture colors, smells and personalities, making the page come to life, and he balances these sensory passages with dense observations about history, metaphysics, science, and human nature.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Bold . . . [Pérez-Reverte’s] best yet . . . an ambitious intellectual thriller peopled with colorful rogues and antiheroes, meticulous in its historical detail, with a plot that rattles along to its unexpected finale. It’s hard to think of a contemporary author who so effortlessly marries popular and literary fiction as enjoyably as this.”—The Observer
 
“Pérez-Reverte has long been Spain’s most popular, inventive writer of historical fiction. . . . This is a big and bold novel, rich in character and incident.”—The Sunday Times
 
Acclaim for Arturo Pérez-Reverte
 
“John le Carré meets Gabriel García Márquez . . . Pérez-Reverte has a huge following . . . and it’s spreading.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“The Da Vinci Code and The Rule of Four . . . pale in comparison with Pérez-Reverte’s novels.”—Time Out New York
 
“It’s a rare novelist who can create a literary page-turner. Arturo Pérez-Reverte . . . is one of those rarities.”—The Denver Post
4.4
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Additional Information

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
May 1, 2006
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780547538181
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Thrillers / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Kingdom of Shadows must be called a spy novel, but it transcends genre, as did some Graham Greene and Eric Ambler classics.”—The Washington Post

Paris, 1938. As Europe edges toward war, Nicholas Morath, an urbane former cavalry officer, spends his days working at the small advertising agency he owns and his nights in the bohemian circles of his Argentine mistress. But Morath has been recruited by his uncle, Count Janos Polanyi, a diplomat in the Hungarian legation, for operations against Hitler’s Germany. It is Morath who does Polanyi’s clandestine work, moving between the beach cafés of Juan-les-Pins and the forests of Ruthenia, from Czech fortresses in the Sudetenland to the private gardens of the déclassé royalty in Budapest. The web Polanyi spins for Morath is deep and complex and pits him against German intelligence officers, NKVD renegades, and Croat assassins in a shadow war of treachery and uncertain loyalties, a war that Hungary cannot afford to lose. Alan Furst is frequently compared with Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, and John le Carré, but Kingdom of Shadows is distinctive and entirely original. It is Furst at his very best.

Praise for Kingdom of Shadows

“Kingdom of Shadows offers a realm of glamour and peril that are seamlessly intertwined and seem to arise effortlessly from the author’s consciousness.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times  

“Subtly spun, sensitive to nuances, generous with contemporary detail and information discreetly conveyed. . . . It’s hard to overestimate Kingdom of Shadows.”—Eugen Weber, Los Angeles Times

“A triumph: evocative, heartfelt, knowing and witty.”—Robert J. Hughes, The Wall Street Journal

“Imagine discovering an unscreened espionage thriller from the late 1930s, a classic black- and- white movie that captures the murky allegiances and moral ambiguity of Europe on the brink of war. . . . Nothing can be like watching Casablanca for the first time, but Furst comes closer than anyone has in years.”—Walter Shapiro, Time
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