Fantômas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
The shocking debut of France’s most ruthless villain
After dinner, the guests of the Marquise de Langrune amuse one another with tales of the chilling deeds of Fantômas, a fiendish criminal whose reach is limitless, whose thirst for mayhem can never be quenched. The next morning, young Charles Rambert leaves early to meet his father at the train station. When he returns, the chateau is in an uproar. The Marquise has been slaughtered in her bed.
She was found not long after Rambert’s departure, her body soaked in blood, her neck severed all the way to the bone. Suspecting his son may be the killer, Charles’s father insists they leave immediately. But Inspector Juve sees the hand of Fantômas in the grisly deed, and in two other dastardly crimes that have Paris in an uproar: the brazen theft of Princess Sonia’s pocketbook and the murder of Lord Beltham, whose body was found stuffed in a trunk. Juve has pledged his life to apprehending the criminal mastermind and will stop at nothing to see Fantômas hang.
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“Absurd and magnificent lyricism.” —Jean Cocteau
“Unable to resist the allure of evil, I spent the rest of the day with Fantômas.” —Umberto Eco
“The book is not a puzzle but an intoxicant.” —The Village Voice
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