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A Citizen of the Country

Sarah Smith

72 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0099410826 / ISBN 13: 9780099410829
Published by Arrow
Condition: GOOD Soft cover
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, MD, U.S.A.)

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Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2582612855

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Citizen of the Country

Publisher: Arrow

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:GOOD

About this title

Synopsis:

An eccentric Count who runs a famous Paris horror theatre, cursed with unexpected death . . . A beautiful young heiress and aspiring leading lady who just might be involved in the dark arts . . . An enigmatic gentleman whose shadowed past will at last be exposed. Their fates and hidden agendas intertwine in Sarah Smith’s compelling novel of an ancient house, dark arts, and love gone wrong–a murderous tale unfolding in the shadow of the guillotine. . . .

Review:

"Murder didn't define Alexander Reisden anymore," the narrator declares coyly on the first page of Sarah Smith's A Citizen of the Country, the final installment of her Vanished Child trilogy. But the truth is that Reisden, former Austrian spy and protective new father, is perpetually haunted by the consequences of having murdered his grandfather at age 8. Set in Paris and Flanders just before the outbreak of World War I, A Citizen of the Country is an intricately plotted, maddeningly complex novel that may frustrate readers who expect mysteries to deliver a corpse before delving into an exploration of motives. In A Citizen of the Country, competing motives are palpable if peculiarly unattached to a definite crime. The first corpse doesn't show up until page 81, for example, but we know intimately many creepy people capable of having poisoned Mlle. Françoise.

Though A Citizen of the Country is unconventionally plotted (perhaps overplotted), it nevertheless spins a web of moral dilemmas that seem to trap the main characters between indecision and desire. The characters struggle mightily against the choices that their lives seem to impel them towards, and this is richly rewarding. In a novel brimming with deftly drawn personalities, André de Montfort is the most compelling. Shut in at age 5 with his parents' decomposing corpses during a cholera outbreak, André's personality is subsequently macabre and imbalanced. His alter-ego Necrosar writes and directs a horrifying meditation on Macbeth in which he casts childhood friend Reisden, adoptive father Cyron, and potentially treacherous Sabine, his wealthy, nubile wife. During the filming, which occupies the second half of the novel, a series of unexplained murders flummoxes Reisden, and lures his blind wife Perdita and toddler Toby into frightening proximity to blackmailers, thugs, and sorcerers. The novel's densely involved plots climax in the shocking death of one of the principals, which motivates the best sequence in the novel, a truly terrifying plunge into the claustrophobic, pitch-black tunnels burrowed beneath Arras, an ancient village. A Citizen of the Country amply rewards readers who savor a writhing plot bursting with hundreds of expertly culled historical details. --Kathi Inman Berens

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