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REISSUED AS A SCEPTRE 30TH CLASSIC
WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD (2011)
A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests.
A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love…
A year unlike any other he has lived.
Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it.
At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.
His recreation of pre-Revolutionary Paris is extraordinarily vivid and imaginative, and his story is so gripping that you’ll put your life on hold to finish it The Times Enthralling … superbly researched, brilliantly narrated and movingly resolved Observer Exquisite inside and out, PURE is a near-faultless thing Sunday Telegraph It draws you in with hallucinatory power Daily Mail Superb Literary Review Dazzling Guardian
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