Jean-Baptiste, a young engineer, is commanded by a minister at the Palace of Versailles to oversee the destruction of the ancient cemetery of Les Innocents next to Les Halles in only-just-pre-revolutionary Paris. All around the area is a strange miasma. There are reports of weird sightings. Things go bump in the night. Many of those living in the locality are hostile to the project.
He meets many strange characters. He is billeted with the Monnards and their mad daughter. Armand is the organist in the derelict graveyard church; he has revolutionary friends. Jeanne is the virginal granddaughter of the sexton. The priest in the church is a recluse, blinded by the Chinese whilst doing missionary work. Heloise is the local whore; she loves reading.
J-B recruits his best friend and a troop of miners, one of whom is a mystery man, and they begin to excavate the bones.
A very strange book, a comedy of manners set amidst corpses. November 2012; 342 pages
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57