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Thief of Souls

With her acclaimed novels The Plague Tales and The Burning Road, Ann Benson has carved out a unique place on the literary landscape with her fascinating alchemy of mystery, history, and psychological terror. Now this gifted storyteller returns with an astounding tale of two crime waves separated by nearly 600 years. In each, the victims are children. In each, the perpetrator is a man of power and renown. And in each, the pursuit of justice is spearheaded by a woman who has seen the face of evil up close--and whose own life is entwined with a madman's.
In the city of Nantes, in the year 1440, a woman hurries through the cobblestoned streets. Her world of faith, loyalty, and family is buckling under the weight of her suspicions about a dead child...and others who may have met the same fate--all at the hands of the same killer--the infamous Gilles de Rais. Soon Guillemette le Drappiere, companion to the Bishop of Nantes, is investigating the young nobleman she helped raise from infancy. To unravel the truth, Guillemette must enter a dark realm of power, perversion, bloodlust--and bring to it the unforgiving light of the church she serves.
In the city of Los Angeles, in the year 2002, a detective gets the kind of call she dreads most: "My child is gone." Lany Dunbar, a mother, a cop, and a veteran of human horrors, cannot be prepared for where this search will lead her. For within days, Lany is certain that this missing-child case has exposed the work of a serial killer. At odds with her own department, sure that her killer is becoming more emboldened, Lany zeroes in on a suspect--while a suspect zeroes in on her....
Two horrific crime sprees. Two extraordinary eras. Theconnections between them are at once eerie, compelling, and surprising. Only Ann Benson can weave together the strands of history and suspense with such mastery. Skillfully blending past and present, myth and reality, Benson catapults us from an age when wolves ran wild through the streets of Paris to an age of high-tech criminal profiling. A riveting, rousing adventure through time, history, and forensic science, Thief of Souls introduces two unforgettable characters, separated by centuries, linked by a passionate quest for justice. For in a race to stop monsters from more monstrous crimes, both women will discover a frightening truth: that within a killer is a child, and within a child are seeds of both innocence and evil.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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About the Author

Ann Benson, the mother of two grown daughters, lives in Connecticut with her husband. She is also the author of the acclaimed novels The Plague Tales and The Burning Road. From the Hardcover edition.


Praise for Ann Benson's Novels The Burning Road "A riveting medical thriller...cleverly combines two stories, separated by centuries." --USA Today "Gripping...Exciting and Complex." --Booklist "Boldly conceived...aims to please historical romance readers as well as futuristic thrill-seekers...Benson's medieval tale and its colorful characters are...intriguingly drawn." --Publishers Weekly "Engaging... With the same ingenuity and skillful plot development she used in The Plague Tales, Benson takes us back to 14th-century Europe." --The Tampa Tribune The Plague Tales "Part historical novel, part futuristic adventure...chock-full of curious lore and considerable suspense." --Entertainment Weekly "A hard-to-put-down thriller steeped in historical fiction and bio-tech sci-fi ...a rich, tightly rendered tale...the enticing hold of parallel historical and futuristic stories--with a virulent epidemic as the ultimate common enemy--is a grip that is hard to resist." --Middlesex News (Mass.) "Benson reveals a formidable talent as she blends historical fiction with a near-future bio-thriller. [Her] debut is assured and accomplished in both the past and the present. [She] renders both eras and their character in vivid detail." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Intriguing...Benson neatly alternates between two attention-grabbing stories." --Booklist

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