LABYRINTH
Kate Mosse

 


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Orion Books, Sep 2005
Reviewed by Sunnie Gill

When Alice Tanner agrees to work as volunteer labour on an archaeological dig near the walled City of Carcassonne in France, she thinks it would be a good way of getting over a failed relationship. She has no idea what she is letting herself in for. On her last day at the dig, Alice wanders off the main dig site and stumbles across a metal object lodged under a large boulder. She accidentally dislodges the boulder which reveals a chamber containing two long-dead bodies.

The police are called in to investigate as a formality, as it is obvious to everyone that the bodies have been there for hundreds of years. However, there is interest from unexpected quarters. Who is the lawyer accompanying the police and why does he seem to be in charge? Alice tells them what she knows but not everyone is convinced that she is telling them everything.

Alice’s discovery sets in motion a series of events which plunges her into danger. She has no idea why all this is happening. She only knows that she is having strange dreams and visions about a woman from the past named Alais.

LABYRINTH tells us the story of both Alice in 2005 and Alais from the early 13th century. This was a time in France’s history when the Cathars were persecuted: subjected to torture and torment under the guise of the Inquisition in an effort to rid the world of “heretics”.

It’s almost impossible to review a book like LABYRINTH without mentioning Dan Brown’s THE DA VINCI CODE. After all, he was the author who started the phenomenal popularity of thrillers with a mystical/ religious theme. At 525 pages, LABYRINTH requires a considerable commitment of time. However, fans of books like THE DA VINCI CODE will find that commitment worthwhile.

April 2006 review, originally published on Murder and Mayhem

 

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