Once upon a time Michel Wery had been a firm supporter of the French Revolution, but the Terror, the atrocities and the new leadership have soured the dream. By 1797 this staunch republican has become a spy for the other side, awaiting his chance to strike back. Then he is approached by a great friend’s sister, Mria von Adelsheim, who wants him to investigate her brother’s death. A pact is made, and both tumble headfirst into a dangerous mission that will leave neither of them unscathed. Ultimately, Michel has to decide how much he is willing to sacrifice for the greater good – whatever that might be.
The Lightstep is a great work of theatre and a true historical epic. Scheming politicians, lavish balls, obscure cults, love, lust and bloodshed pepper its pages in thrilling detail. John Dickinson writes with a light touch and an eye for detail. He has the ability to paint every scene and draw every character with just a few deft strokes. His historical details always have the ring of authenticity but never overload or weigh down the story.
This is a gem of a novel, and I shall certainly be looking out for more works by the author.