All Human Wisdom

February, 1927. The great and the good of Paris gather to attend the funeral of the powerful millionaire, Marcel Péricourt. 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.

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"Terrific . . . Easily the most purely entertaining novel I have read so far this year" David Mills, The Sunday Times

"A really excellent suspense novelist" Stephen King

The second volume of Pierre Lemaitre's enthralling, award-winning between-the-wars trilogy

In 1927, the great and the good of Paris gather at the funeral of the wealthy banker, Marcel Péricourt. His daughter, Madeleine, is poised to take over his financial empire (although, unfortunately, she knows next to nothing about banking). More unfortunately still, when Madeleine's seven-year-old son, Paul, tumbles from a second floor window of the Péricourt mansion on the day of his grandfather's funeral, and suffers life-changing injuries, his fall sets off a chain of events that will reduce Madeleine to destitution and ruin in a matter of months.

Using all her reserves of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and a burning desire for retribution, Madeleine sets about rebuilding her life. She will be helped by an ex-Communist fixer, a Polish nurse who doesn't speak a word of French, a brainless petty criminal with a talent for sabotage, an exiled German Jewish chemist, a very expensive forger, an opera singer with a handy flair for theatrics, and her own son with ideas for a creative new business to take Paris by storm.

A brilliant, imaginative, free-falling caper through between-the-wars Paris, and a portrait of Europe on the edge of disaster.

Translated from the French by Frank Wynne

With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

From the reviews for The Great Swindle

"The most purely enjoyable book I've read this year" Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph

"The vast sweep of the novel and its array of extraordinary secondary characters have attracted comparisons with the works of Balzac. Moving, angry, intelligent - and compulsive" Marcel Berlins, The Times

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 198 × 130 × 30 mm
Author

Publisher

MacLehose Press

Imprint

MacLehose Press

Cover

Paperback

Pages

427

Language

English

Edition

1st paperback ed

Dewey

843.92 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K