The Three Evangelists Paperback – 5 Jan 2006
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"a truly original talent, creating situations and characters like nothing else in contemporary crime fiction." -- Joan Smith, The Sunday Times
Winner of the inaugural 2006 International CWA Dagger Award. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Until Sophia disappears. Nobody is greatly worried. Well, at least not until the point when worrying is pretty useless: a few days later her body is found in a burnt-out car. Suddenly, the mysterious tree – though still equally mysterious – seems ever-more sinister. But why? The three historians line up a plethora of mysterious suspects (her husband, her ex-lover, her niece newly returned to the capital with her child, her best friend?) and vow to discover who killed their neighbour.
It’s hard to express how good Vargas’s novels are. At least, without seeming to launch into an overenthusiastic, over-the-top, laudatory rant. Witness one press review: “Joyous, enchanting, amazing, fantastic, unclassifiable, beyond-brilliant. Readers will not hold back praise for Fred Vargas.” A bit OTT, no? Well, no, not really.Read more ›
All is whimsy - the plot (plot?), the characters (they have no character) and the setting (sketchy) .
If this won the award for the best crime novel in its year, which unbelievably it did, then it must have been a grim year for the genre.
Three young historians, Mathias, Marc and Lucian, and Marc's ex-policeman uncle, Armand, buy a ramshackle house, known as the `disgrace'. When Armand sees the three young men standing each framed by a section of a gothic window, he coins them "the three evangelists."
Their neighbor, Sophia, is an former opera singer. When she finds a tree has been planted in her garden, it causes her worry. She hires the young men to dig it up, just to reassure her that nothing is planted under it. When Sophia disappears, the young men, with the help of Armand, are determined to find out what happened.
I particularly like books which are character driven, and this certainly was. I loved the characters. Sophia, the retired opera singer worried about a tree which appears in her garden, the three evangelists, so named by Armand, an ex-flic and uncle to St. Mark (Marc the Middle Ages historian who always wears black), St. Martin (Mathias the Prehistoric historian who dislikes wearing clothes), and St. Luck (Lucian the Great Wars historian who always wears a tie). I felt Vargas really liked her characters and made me like them in turn.
Even the house, in which the four men live, almost becomes a character in the story. The story is wonderfully plotted, escalating bit-by-bit to the final climatic reveal. The reveal itself was particularly well done as it wasn't dry and unemotional, as most are, but filled with pain and disappointment.
Perhaps because she is Parisian and writing about her own city, there wasn't as strong a sense of place as I, a foreigner, might have liked. However, it is her familiarity with place that made me feel comfortable there as well.Read more ›
The author has great fun describing the distain of each obsessive academic for the others’ periods of study. Their immaturity, which might have been annoying, was balanced by the experience and gravitas of Armand. The living arrangements in the Disgrace put each Evangelist on a level appropriate to his historical interest, from hunter-gatherer at the bottom, medieval then WWI. Vandoosler, existing in the current era, lives at the top.
The book opens with their neighbour, the retired Greek diva Sophia Simeonidis, opening her window to find to find a beech tree planted in her garden. Her husband Pierre, a rather vague character, is unconcerned but she approaches the Evangelists who have recently moved in to ask them to investigate and offers generous payment. They dig up the tree but find nothing buried beneath it. Shortly thereafter Sophia disappears and her niece Alexandra and her young son arrive to stay with her. Pierre’s opinion that his wife left the house is at variance with Alexandra’s certainty that her aunt was expecting her.
The Evangelists and Armand widen their investigation, helped by the latter’s friendship with the man leading the police team, the surly Commissaire Leguennec.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fred Vargas is my new favourite - a really good read, interesting characters. She has two translators, one much better than the other. Can't wait for her latest to be translated.Published 1 month ago by Myco
I absolutely love this book. It is one of the best crime detectives I have read: erudite, quirky, pacey; just love it.Published 5 months ago by Jenny bb
A charming book. We are introduced to 3 odd men, who live in different acedemic worlds, who are eccentric, and broke. The characters of the 3 emerge as an odd story unfolds. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jmbourke
I love Vargas. Here imagination is amazing. Her books are unique as her mind. Anyone who loves detective stories is in for a treat.Published 13 months ago by K. Martin