The second volume of Pierre Lemaitre's enthralling between-the-wars trilogy
February, 1927. The great and the good of Paris gathers to attend the funeral of the powerful millionaire, Marcel Pericourt. His daughter, Madeleine, is poised to take charge of his financial empire, but it seems fate has other plans for her. Her young son, Paul, with one unexpected and tragic act, will place Madeleine on the path to ruin and degradation.
Faced with the adversity of men, the greed of her time, the corruption and the ambition of her associates, Madeleine will have to deploy reserves of intelligence, determination and also a Machiavellian instinct to survive and rebuild her life. This task is made all the more difficult in a France that can only watch, helpless, as the first flames of the inferno that will soon ravage Europe begin to take hold.
Pierre Lemaitre was born in Paris in 1951. He worked for many years as a teacher of literature before becoming a novelist. He was awarded the Crime Writers' Association International Dagger, alongside Fred Vargas, for Alex, and as sole winner for Camille. In 2013 his novel Au revoir la-haut (The Great Swindle, in English translation) won the Prix Goncourt, France's leading literary award.