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Customer Review

on 13 March 2012
I expected more, so much more from this historical fiction novel about the exhumation of body parts from a Paris cemetry on hygiene grounds. Set immediately before the French Revolution, this is a subject area I've been interested in for some time - since visiting the Parisien Catacombs twice now and in my opinion - One of the best places and must see lesser known sights in the French Capital.

So I perhaps was expecting too much. The story started well enough and I was initially gripped however it seemed to tail out towards the end and I was left thinking the claims on the cover had been left as somewhat lacking.

The book won the Costa Novel of the year for 2011; I selected it as part of the Waterstones Bookclub - a must read recommended book. Mmm, not really THAT good, actually.

In short its enjoyable enough however I didn't feel the author gave sufficent attention to the harshness of the time and specifically the mass exhumation task being undertaken. Dr Guillotin was a minor character and there is a somewhat cliqued reference to heads! (Yawn!)

A great potential subject area, I'm disappointed it wasn't explored more.
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Product Details

4.0 out of 5 stars