In an attempt to glimpse Heaven in a near-death experience, a Parisienne doctor in 1873 experiments on himself with resuscitation through electricity only to return to life accompanied by a powerful, unspeakably evil presence. - (Baker & Taylor)
1873: When the ambitious Doctor Paul Clément takes a job on the island of Saint Sébastien, he has dreams of finding cures for tropical diseases. After witnessing the ritualistic murder of a young boy who was allegedly already dead, he is warned never to speak of what he has seen. Back in fin de siècle Paris, Paul’s attentions turn to studying the nervous system and resuscitation through electricity. Paul is told of patients who have apparently died, been brought back to life, and, while they lay between life and death, witnessed what they believed to be Heaven itself. Using forbidden knowledge he swore never to use, he attempts to experience what everyone else has seen, but something goes horribly wrong. When Paul returns to the land of the living, can it be possible that he brings something else back with him, an unspeakable evil so powerful it can never be banished? - (WW Norton)
The Alienist meets The Exorcist in Tallis’ new novel of psychological suspense, as an ambitious young doctor explores the dangerous border between science and the supernatural. - (WW Norton)
We're in Paris, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Dr. Paul Clément's interests in the techniques of human resuscitation—interests that started growing when, working at a mission hospital in the French Antilles, he witnessed the shocking death of a young man who appeared to have been turned into a zombie—have taken over his life, leading him to take the biggest risk a man can take: to bring himself back from death so he can see what those who have been resuscitated have experienced. What he discovers, though, is a lot more terrifying than even he had expected. Written in a lightly ornamented style to match its Victorian setting, this is a full-on horror story that grabs us pretty much from the first paragraph and doesn't let go until it's good and ready to. For fans of gothic horror, a tasty treat. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews
Tallis (Vienna Twilight) channels The Exorcist in his latest historical stand-alone, a fast-paced tale that follows a young French doctor's exploration of the line between life and death. Witnessing the ritualistic murder of a "zombie" on the island of Saint Sébastien in the French Antilles, Dr. Paul Clément returns to Paris with a fevered interest in the nervous system and electrical resuscitation. After hearing about the visions of light and happiness some dying patients have experienced before revival, Clément allows his own heart to be stopped and then reanimated in the name of scientific pursuit. What follows are scenes right out of Dante's Inferno, and Clément finds himself pushed to the brink to save those he cares for. VERDICT Short-listed for both the Edgar and Dagger Awards, Tallis knows how to build suspense. By layering in real-life doctors and descriptions of the experiments they carried out in 19th-century France, he builds a credible universe that makes the supernatural elements all the more shocking. There are genuinely creepy moments, and the horror show of Christian mythology isn't for the squeamish. The plot-driven chills will attract readers who don't mind being kept up late.—Liza Oldham, Beverly, MA
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