Sepulchre is a tale of romance, secrets, murder and the occult set in France, both in Paris and in the beautiful French countryside around Carcasonne and Rennes-les-Bains. The story switches between two heroines:- Leonie, a 17 year old in 1891, and Meredith, a 24 year old in 2007.
Leonie lives in Paris with her mother and her brother Anatol. Fairly early in the story, Anatol feels it necessary to leave Paris. He travels with Leonie to stay with their widowed aunt at the Domain de la Cade in Rennes-les-Bain near Carcasonne.
Once with their aunt Isolde, Leonie is slow to realise that there is much more to Anatol’s relationship with Isolde. Leonie is also unaware of Anatol’s real reasons for leaving Paris.
Innocent and naïve, Leonie delves into the ancient mysteries of the Domain de la Cade, it’s Visigoth Sepulchre and a mysterious tarot pack that has been missing since Leonie’s uncle ‘unleashed the devil’ years earlier. While involved in a terrifying dabble with the local occult, Leonie fails to realise that there is an even greater threat lurking in the shape of the evil Victor Constant.
Over a century later, 24 year old American, Meredith, comes to Paris to research the life of composer Claude Debussy, and also to find out more of her family history which she has tracked back to Rennes-les-Bains. The Domain de la Cade is now a hotel and while staying there, Meredith has dreams and visions in which Leonie asks for her help. Once again the lost Tarot pack and the Sepulchre feature in solving the mystery of Leonie, tracing Meredith’s family history and overcoming the modern day evil villain.
While reading, I was strongly drawn into the beauty of the French countryside, However, the book was unable to give me any real feel for Paris. Some of the story was very long-winded and seemingly irrelevant. For example, the life of Claude Debussy and the pro-French riots are given a lot of emphasis early in the book but have no relevance to the later story line.
I read Labyrinth by Kate Mosse a few years ago and loved it and this was the main reason that I managed to read Sepulchre through all 700 tedious pages.
Do read Labyrinth, but maybe give Sepulchre a miss!
Book Published 2007