The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge Paperback
On a frozen New Year's Day a half-circle of dead bodies lies on freshly fallen snow in the French Jura.
A nearby chalet contains the debris of a seemingly ordinary Christmas: champagne, presents for the dead children, and a strange leather-bound book, written in mysterious code, containing maps of the stars.
When Dominique Carpentier, the Judge tasked with solving the mystery behind this suicide sect, discovers the book, she is lead to the Composer, Friedrich Groz, who is connected to every one of the dead. And so the pursuit begins. As Carpentier is drawn into a world of complex family ties, ancient beliefs and seductive, disturbing music, she becomes more and more determined to crack the case.
But has she met her match in the Composer?
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 18/07/2011
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781408809563
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Review by adpaton
Most of us remember the Doomsday cults of the 1990s and this cover blurb will attract anyone fascinated by the Branch Dravidians or the Heaven’s Gate crowd: a group of hunters come across of semi-circle of corpses laid out neatly in snowy mountains, members of a mysterious suicide cult. The cultists belong to a sect known only as The Faith, and parallels with the Order of the Solar Temple are obvious, even down to the leader being a musician, the Western European setting and the astronomical connections. The book has a promising premise, a confusing beginning, and from then its all downhill as the reader flounders in Duncker’s prose, as densely unreadable as a pedantic mid-Victorian translation – suffocating, but with moments of brilliance. And oh Goodness, why og why does everyone fall in love with the insufferably smug Judge? men and women, young and old, are inexplicably drawn to her!