It’s been almost 3 months since I published “Unforgiven in Massilia” and a bit more than one since I published “The Inconvenient Bride”. I am now working on my fourth novel in English that should be published and available before end of July 2021.
I found this book interesting because it was inspire to me by two photographs of a young photographer from Britany: Laureen Keravec. I saw the models and It gave me the idea of a medieval murderess.
The story is set in 1327 and in the south of France, in a region called Vaucluse which is part of Provence during dark times for Christianity: kings are cursed; Knights Templar are persecuted; and the Franciscans friars are thrown in prison.
Popes have fled Rome to escape the power of the Holy Empire and the violence of Italian politics. The Holy Father John the XXII settled in Avignon, on the lands of the Church and under the protection of the king of France. The Cathars saw their last priest burned on the church square of Villerouge-Termenès. The heresy is now defeated, but attention turns east, where Ludwig of Bavaria claims suzerainty over the entire Catholic Church.
In this context, rumors of witchcraft and paganism in the Vaucluse mountains could well cost the old pope his throne. There is no doubt that the Duke of Bavaria has something to do with it, but the Church cannot act openly in fear of discrediting itself.
A Moorish woman and a priest are sent to investigate and restore the orthodoxy.
A woman at the heart of the novel
I wanted to write an adventure novel, border edging with a thriller in an historical context; but I didn’t want knights, chivalry and all similar clichés of a medieval adventure. I also loved the idea of breaking with the genre in having a female, for once, that would be leading the action, including the violent one.
I thus created a sort of “Nikita” or a female “Léon” for those fans like me of Jean-Luc Besson’s films. I created the character of Margaux, a murderess, working for the Church to clean up, behind the scene, the mess left by the inquisition. I imagined Margaux as a viper, a bit like the character of Black Mamba in the film Kill Bill of Quentin Tarantino, extremely dangerous with her own set of values, but at the same time extremely weak and wounded by the same ones she threatens.
The character of Margaux might thus seem out of this world, but the narrative of The Devil’s Pit is also out of this world, as was that period of Christian history, when people truly believed in demons crawling the streets at night.
I hope you will enjoy the reading of that book as much as I did enjoy writing it. it should be out around August 1st, 2021 and available on Amazon and in bookshops.