By Antoine de Baecque
June 1789, The Ancient World is crumbling. The Villemorts are descended from a long line of aristocrats, a family held together by the age-old legend of their pure blood, and blood is precisely what they crave... because the Villemorts, the “red talons”, are vampires. Two of them forsake the blood of their forefathers to devote themselves to an egalitarian community. They are the heroes of this novel which hovers between fantasy and the very real backdrop of revolutionary times. We have William, an uncle returned from America where he acquired a liking for freedom and now espouses the cause of freed slaves, surrounding himself by an ebony-skinned guard. And there is Louis, the handsome headstrong nephew thrust into the turmoil of revolution, and so in love with Marie de Méricourt he wants to give her eternal life. How can they escape a curse that has travelled across centuries?
Historian Antoine de Baecque devoted a trilogy to the French revolution: Le corps de l’histoire (Calmann-Lévy, 1993), La Gloire et l’Effroi (Grasset, 1996), and Les Éclats du rire (Calmann-Lévy, 2000). He is a cinema critic and has published acclaimed biographies of Truffaut and Godard, both translated into many languages. Red Heels, his first novel, is the product of his passion for the French revolution and vampire films.