The Three Evangelists
|The Three Evangelists|
|Original title||Debout les Morts|
|Genre||Crime / Thriller|
|Publisher||The Harvill Press|
|5 January 2006|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|Dewey Decimal||843.914 22|
|LC Class||PQ2682.A725 D4313 2006|
The Three Evangelists (Debout les Morts) is a 1995 novel by French author Fred Vargas, translated into English in 2006. It won the inaugural Crime Writers' Association's Duncan Lawrie International Dagger, now known as the International Dagger Award.
The "three evangelists": Marc Vanderloos, Matthias Dellamarre and Lucien Devernois, and Marc's uncle, the cashiered police commissioner Armand Vanderloos, make their first appearance in this book.
One morning, the retired operatic soprano Sophia Siméonidis discovers, in her garden in the quiet Paris street rue Chastle, a beech tree that she has never seen before. There is nothing to indicate where it came from. Sophia is alarmed, but her husband Pierre is indifferent. Eventually she calls on her neighbours, the odd household of Marc, Matthias, Lucien, and the elder Vanderloos, and asks their help. They dig out the tree, but find nothing underneath it.
Sophia disappears. Pierre remains unconcerned; he believes she has gone to visit an old lover, Stelyos. But Juliette, the evangelists' other next door neighbour, expresses concern; she is sure that Sophia, her best friend, would never have gone off without telling her, and especially not on a Thursday evening, when all the neighbours regularly meet for a convivial meal at Juliette's restaurant, Le Tonneau (The Barrel).
One night Alexandra, Sophia's niece, arrives with her little boy Cyrille, running away from a failed relationship and expecting to stay with Sophia. Shortly afterward, a burned corpse is discovered in an abandoned factory, unrecognisable but with it is a small piece of basalt, which was Sophia's lucky charm. Alexandra has no alibi, she stands to inherit a third of Sophia's substantial fortune, and her habit of driving aimlessly around at night makes her a principal suspect.
Already troubled by the enigma of the tree, and increasingly desperate to divert the attention of the police from Alexandra, the three evangelists and Armand Vanderloos start to investigate, exploiting Armand's continuing contacts with his former colleagues.
- 2006, Canada, Vintage Canada ISBN 0-676-97797-9, Pub date 14 Feb 2006, Paperback
- 1995, France, V. Hamy ISBN 2-87858-068-0, Pub date ?? ? 1995, Unknown binding
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