By Kate Mosse
Orion £18.99
FT bookshop price: £15.19

A photograph and a disturbing brush with tarot cards take adopted American writer Meredith X from Paris, where she is researching a biography of Debussy, to a hotel outside Carcassone. A century earlier, her ancestors Anatole and Leonie had fled from Paris to the same chateau to escape the lunatic who had murdered their mother. Leonie finds an old sepulchre there, in which she has a mystical experience that ignites her own fascination with tarot.

Sepulchre is an engrossing pair of narratives that largely repeats the formula of its hugely impressive predecessor Labyrinth, replacing the Cathar intrigues with occult adventuring, Magdelene mythology and a search for Visigoth treasure. Mosse reprises her notion of a thin, porous membrane between past and present in her dense but pacy gothic plot.

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