Lucas Corso, middle-aged, tired, and cynical, is a book detective, a mercenary hired to hunt down rare editions for wealthy and unscrupulous clients. When a well-known bibliophile is found hanged, leaving behind part of the original manuscript of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, Corso is brought in to authenticate the fragment.
The task seems straightforward, but the unsuspecting Corso is soon drawn into a swirling plot involving devil worship, occult practices, and swashbuckling derring-do among a cast of characters bearing a suspicious resemblance to those of Dumas’s masterpiece. Aided by a mysterious beauty named for a Conan Doyle heroine, Corso travels from Madrid to Toledo to Paris in pursuit of a sinister and seemingly omniscient killer. Part mystery, part puzzle, part witty intertextual game, The Club Dumas is a wholly original intellectual thriller by the internationally bestselling author of The Flanders Panel and The Seville Communion.
The horror of Roman Polanski is not about spectacle and shock but a goose-pimply sense of evil lurking just outside the frame and hidden behind the faces of slightly unsettling characters. For a while it looks like The Ninth Gate, adapted from the novel The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, might recapture the beautiful uneasiness of such masterpieces as Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby. A calm, almost sleepy Johnny Depp plays cynical, unscrupulous rare-book hunter Dean Corso, who’s hired by demonologist Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) to…