Built like the great historical frescos, Film noir takes us into the heart of Europe in the first global conflict, through the life story of a vividly colourful character who really did exist, Basil Zaharoff.
It is 1887, in a tiny compartment of the mythical Orient Express. Although she is due to marry the next day, Maria del Pilar, the Spanish Duchess, meets Basil Zaharoff, a mysterious Greek about whom she knows nothing, and falls him at once. Their love, as carnal as it is forbidden, will dramatically change the course of their lives, and also the course of history, forever.
Basil Zaharoff, a real person, was a source of great inspiration for the author. He was a Greek arms dealer who grew wealthy through his trade, and was also in turn a business man, spy and manipulating politician. He played a part in many historical events from the Dreyfus Affair to the outbreak of the First World War, not forgetting the scandal of the Panama Canal. With money he accumulated through his trade, he funded the Greek campaign in Asia Minor, which would end in his first setback. At the end of his life, when he lost his beloved Maria prematurely, after years of meeting each other but after only two year’s of marriage, he was only a shadow of himself.
This romantic tale, already a success in Greece, is both informative and entertaining.
Julie Malaure, Le Point
“An all-powerful tycoon: a blend of Onassis, Krupp and Citizen Kane. And a wholly fascinating novel.”
Alain Nicolas, L’Humanité
“A brilliant tale, juggling the characters that seem to spring from one era to another like a scene from a ‘noir’ film.”
Fanny Del Volta, Point de Vue
“A fictional life that absolutely must be discovered, underneath the sensitive and elegant turns of the writing that does not hide its own pleasure in being written.”