Days of Atonement: Book summary and reviews of Days of Atonement by Michael Gregorio

Days of Atonement

A Mystery

by Michael Gregorio

Days of Atonement by Michael Gregorio X
Days of Atonement by Michael Gregorio
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2008
    368 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

It is 1807 and Napoleon’s army has swept over Prussia, leaving in its wake a conquered land occupied by the French. Local magistrate Hanno Stiffeniis has retreated to his home in the countryside in the hopes that he can keep himself away from the scrutiny of the occupying forces. But when Serge Lavedrine, Paris's famed criminologist, requires his services, Stiffeniis has little choice but to accept.

Three children have been found massacred in their beds. Their mother has disappeared without a trace. Terrified by the gruesome murders, the local townspeople have become convinced that the crimes are the work of the local Jewish population. The ghetto has been closed off, but the crowds gathered in the streets are desperate for justice of any kind. The French authorities want nothing more than a quick resolution and an end to the hysteria that has gripped the town.

Stiffeniis has his own reasons for accepting the case. The victims' father serves as a soldier in remote Kamentz, where the resistance to Napoleon's occupation is already developing. If Stiffeniis cannot discover the whereabouts of the mother and the identity of the murderer in time, he risks exposing the Prussian rebellion to the French before it has the strength to succeed. To succeed he must once again put to use the powers of deduction learned from his late teacher, the famed philosopher Immanuel Kant.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Readers will race through the pages to reach the solution." - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred Review. The vertiginous plot twists ultimately validate a Kantian wisdom that defies the grave. Fusing philosophical insight with psychological subtlety, Gregorio endows an often-predictable genre with remarkable substance." - Booklist.

"Gregorio's ambitious second novel successfully suggests the rococo fiction of its era." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

Michael Gregorio Author Biography

Photo: Jeffrey Isaac

Michael Gregorio is the pen name of Michael G. Jacob and Daniela De Gregorio. Michael and Daniela have been married for 36 years, and live in Spoleto, Italy, where Daniela teaches Philosophy, and Michael teaches English and the History of Photography. They were awarded the Umbria del Cuore prize in 2007.

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