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"Thrilling until the last page, an unforgettable investigator, real life characters: The French crime novel has found its new pope."RTL Television
"Alexis Ragougneau demonstrates indisputable talent and promise as a crime writer and novelist."Le Point
"With vigorous writing, Alexis Ragougneau sweeps us away on a high-flying investigation."Le Monde
Fifty thousand believers and photo-hungry tourists jam into Notre Dame Cathedral on August 15 to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. At day's end, a stunningly beautiful young woman is found murdered inside the cathedral vestry. The autopsy reveals disturbing details. Police investigators and priests search for the killer as they discover other truths, as well, about guilt and redemption in this soaring historic Paris refuge for the lost, the damned, and the saved. The suspect is a disturbed young man obsessed with the Virgin Mary who spends his days hallucinating in front of a Madonna. But a homeless woman perpetually ignored by clergy and cathedral staff knows another truth about the killer of the white-clad daughter of Algerian immigrants to France who turned occasional tricks as a prostitute. This gripping novel illuminates the shadowy corners of a monumental landmark, shedding light on good and evil with suspense, compassion and wry humor.
Alexis Ragougneau is a playwright and The Madonna of Notre Dame is his first novel. He worked for several months in Notre Dame Cathedral helping monitor tourist crowds and knows well its infinite secrets and the forgotten souls who linger in its darkest corners.