In the world of rare books everything has its price. But when the book is a satanic tract, the currency is not money but life. A well-know bibliophile is found hanged days after selling a rare manuscript of Alexander Dumas's classic, The Three Musketeers. Across Madrid, Spain's wealthiest book dealer has finally laid his hands on a 17th-century manual for summoning the devil. Lucas Corso, solitary and obsessive, is the detective hired to authenticate both texts. But the further he follows the trail of devil worship, the more it leads him back to Dumas. He's the unwitting protagonist in someone's evil plot, but is he sleuth or hero, Sherlock Holmes or d'Artagnan?
Utdrag ur boken:
I first met Lucas Corso when he came to see me; he was carrying "The Anjou Wine" under his arm. Corso was a mercenary of the book world, hunting down books for other people. That meant talking fast and getting his hands dirty. He needed good reflexes, patience, and a lot of luck-and a prodigious memory to recall the exact dusty corner of an old man's shop where a book now worth a fortune lay forgotten. His clientele was small and select: a couple of dozen book dealers in Milan, Paris, London, Barcelona, and Lausanne, the kind that sell through catalogues, make only safe investments, and never handle more than fifty or so titles at any one time. High-class dealers in early printed books, for whom thousands of dollars depend on whether something is parchment or vellum or three centimeters wider in the margin. Jackals on the scent of the Gutenberg Bible, antique-fair sharks, auction-room leeches, they would sell their grandmothers for a first edition. But they receive their clients in rooms with leather sofas, views of the Duomo or Lake Constance, and they never get their hands-or their consciences-dirty. That's what men like Corso are for.