A Citizen of the Country
A man in love is a man afraid.
Paris, 1911. André du Monde, director of a famous horror theater, has married a young girl from the country. As a child, André experienced something terrible. Now he can't be intimate with anyone except by frightening them.
His wife is frightened too. Because André keeps telling her she's going to poison him...
Alexander von Reisden, doctor to the mad and André's friend, seems to have outlived his own terrible past. He has a wife and a son, and work he loves. But now he has to help André, or lose everything too.
A man in love, a man afraid...a fight against terrible odds...a cursed film, a cursed love, and the shadows of war...A Citizen of the Country.
"A virtuosic fusion of speculative history, boldly stylized character drawing, and intricately plotted rousing melodrama...Fiction just doesn't get any more entertaining and satisfying than this. A bloody triumph." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A seductive storyteller...Taking inspiration from the chalky hills, the Roman history, the witchcraft legends and local landmarks that would soon be reduced to rubble in the war, [Smith] finds the ideal setting for resolving the sad, strange mysteries that have haunted Reisden since childhood." The New York Times Book Review
"Stylish and literate... Readers will care about the splendidly realized characters, whose fates are decided in an eminently satisfying conclusion." Publishers Weekly
"Though full of authentic detail, this isn't a typical 'historical novel,' but rather proof that certain human conditions--the public and private face of heroism, the complicated love we feel for family--are the same no matter the century."Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)
"[Smith] fills the third installment with endlessly satisfying plot twists, historical verisimilitude, and character development--and still manages to keep her eye on the overarching question: not so much "What country?" as "Where do I belong?"...A Citizen of the Country illuminates a society on the brink, a way of life about to be lost forever...and one man's journey, by the hardest roads, home to his family."Detroit Free Press (four stars)
"Think Poe, Agatha Christie, A Tale of Two Cities and Chinatown, and you have an idea of the mix that Smith juggles so delicately--and so well." New York Post
"The characters are so beguiling, the writing so evocative and detailed that one emerges from the books pages--and the ancient catacombs of Arras--as from a dark movie theater, surprised by daylight and the real world." Orlando Sentinel
"Stunning...Sarah Smith skillfully takes readers into the dark world of the human psyche and spirit." Romantic Times
§ AMANDA CROSS, acclaimed author of the Kate Fansler novels: "Original, authentic, and engaging--combining warlike stirrings and the personal resurrection of the major characters in The Vanished Child and The Knowledge of Water…A remarkably clever conclusion to Smith's brilliant evocations of early twentieth-century France."
§ ELLEN KUSHNER, host of Public Radio International's Sound & Spirit: "I couldn't put it down!…A profound meditation on fathers and sons, family and belonging, with the suspense and excitement of a thriller."
§ RAMSEY CAMPBELL, prizewinning author and critic: "Not just an absorbing mystery tale that rises to heights of great suspense and terror, but a profound study of human relationships...[Sarah Smith's] understanding of people and their psychology never errs, and she communicates it in a prose of beautiful simplicity and clarity. Unmissable…a compelling read."
§ LAURIE R. KING, Edgar-winning author of the Kate Martinelli and Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series: "A dark tale for a dark time, an accounting of twists and turns through the mind's subterranean labyrinth, a tale of the goodness to be found in bad places, and the wickedness in the good."
§ CHARLES TODD, author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge series: "A fascinating and stylish tale of love, blackmail, madness, and witchcraft in France on the brink of World War One."
§ NANCY THAYER: "Reading Sarah Smith's A Citizen of the Country is like living in the eye of a spinning kaleidoscope. Audacious, lyrical, horrifying, heartbreaking, this novel is not only a brilliantly complicated mystery, but a complete world, from which we come away looking with wiser eyes at our own lives. Like Balzac or Zola, Sarah Smith dazzles."