Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory #
From one of Frances's leading crime writers, whose The Messengers of Death was named a Publishers Weekly Best Mystery of 2008, comes this exceptional classic mystery which was once singled out as being France's Best Novel of the Year
At the turn of the century, in a remote inn in Upper Provence, a family is violently massacred. The sole survivor of the tragedy is a three-week-old baby.
In 1920, the orphaned survivor, Seraphin Monge, returns home to avenge his family's killers. But for each murder he plots, another hand silently executes it in his place. He wins the hearts of both Marie and Rose, and romantic complications ensue. But then unexpected secrets set in motion a dreadful unveiling of the past. . . .
A novel of terrifying intensity, The Murdered House will secure Magnan's place on every mystery aficionado's shelf.
Review: The murdered house in the title of Pierre Magnan's intense novel--set in rural Provence in 1920--is at once historical, actual, and metaphorical. Scarred by war, France is a house without sons; only women, children, and old men toil in Magnan's fields. When Séraphin Monge returns to his native village after fighting in the trenches, he learns at last the truth of his origins: his family was brutally slaughtered in a remote inn in 1896; Séraphin, then a 3-week-old baby, was the only survivor. Haunted by visions of his dead mother, he is determined to avenge her murder, but he must first try to free himself from his past. He decides to destroy, stick by stick and stone by stone, the ancient house in which his entire family died. But, as Magnan observes tellingly, "Burning furniture that has a history is no easy matter."
In destroying the house, Séraphin discovers evidence that seems to hint at the murderers' identity; yet The Murdered House is not a whodunit, even though a mysterious figure seems to be shadowing Séraphin and there are unexplained deaths, gold coins, and legal documents.
The discovery of the murderers is not the aim of the book (indeed, when Magnan strays into the realm of traditional mystery, it seems half-hearted at best). Instead, Magnan is intent on sketching the worlds, both internal and external, of individuals and places haunted by the horrors of World War I. His rendering of daily Provençal life hints at the tenacity with which a generation clings to the traditions of its forebears; he writes of the annual olive-pressing:
They would have drunk it as it came out of the shallow baskets, if they had been allowed. They caught it in their measuring vessels and let it flow into their wicker-covered bottles. As soon as the demijohns were full, two people rushed them to the barrows and carts. The child formed a rear guard defending their retreat; the grandfather stayed with the bottles yet to be filled, watching with an eagle eye, as though the miller were a thief, as though all the neighbours and friends who were waiting their turn were capable of pilfering a demijohn or two.
Though the translator has done a solid job of rendering Magnan's descriptive prose--almost poetry-like in its intensity and ellipsis--the dialogue is at times dissonant, since Magnan relies on the rhythms and vocabulary of the old Provençal dialect, whose subtleties are almost impossible to evoke in English without sounding stilted. Not until the last few pages does the book itself genuinely falter; Magnan's last-minute revelation of a first-person narrator wants to be a clever post-modern trick, but it falls emphatically flat. It's easy to forgive a few pages' transgression, though, when one has already digested a challenging, evocative novel. --Kelly Flynn
Title: The Murdered House
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 2010
Book Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition.
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: Good. Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. Seller Inventory # G031236721XI3N00
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: Fair. Seller Inventory # G031236721XI5N00
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: Good. This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Seller Inventory # G031236721XI3N00
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Book shows a small amount of wear - very good condition. Seller Inventory # G031236721XI4N00
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. This copy shows very minor wear. Seller Inventory # G031236721XI4N00
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Seller Inventory # G031236721XI3N00
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€™ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2843851441
Book Description Minotaur Books. Paperback. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€™ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2858512707
Book Description Minotaur Books 2010-11-09, 2010. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. All books are pre-owned and will have been read by someone else before you. They may well show signs of minor wear and tear. Please note, cover images are illustrative only, and the actual book cover and edition can vary. Seller Inventory # 9780312367213-21
Book Description Minotaur Books, 2010. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 031236721X-2-4