1914. A small group of anarchists disperses to throw bombs against several Parisian public buildings, claiming the release of one of their own. But at the last minute, Arthur, known as The Alchemist, changed his target and a bourgeois restaurant exploded. The attack caused seven victims. Within the anarchist cell, this initiative has a taste of treason. The public opinion is set on fire, the government is under pressure. Fabre, police commissioner, is obliged to find the culprits. A young journalist with dreams of grandeur, Eugene intends to conduct his own parallel investigation, even if it means taking reckless risks. But soon the two men perceive influences behind the case that go beyond the anarchists. And what if the latter were only straw men, manipulated by much more powerful people than them? What kind of quagmire are these two investigators heading for?
Between stalking, plotting, scheming and double agents, this masterfully handled first novel lets us breathe in the scent of an era teetering on the edge of the abyss.