He did not know if his powers could save him until the horses' hooves had crushed his ribs and his heart had stopped beating. After that, it was obvious.
1880's France: the corrupt world of the Third Republic. A clandestine brotherhood is engaged in a desperate internal power struggle; a race of beings seeks to free itself from perpetual oppression; and a rip in time threatens an entire city. The future of Europe is at stake, in a war fought with minds and bodies altered to the limits of human evolution.
Chris finds himself working undercover with a suspicious French gendarme; Roz follows a psychic artist whose talents are attracting the attention of mysterious forces; and the Doctor befriends a shape-shifting member of a terrifying family. And, at the heart of it all, a dark and disturbing injustice is being perpetrated. Only an end to the secret war, and the salvation of an entire race, can prevent Paris from being utterly destroyed.
to be added
- Seventh Doctor
- Roz Forrester
- Chris Cwej
- David Clayton
- Brother Tomas
- Clarissa Montfalcon
- Dominic Montfalcon
- Emil Montfalcon
- August Mirakle
- Georges Picquart
- Anton Jarre
- Claudette Engadine
- Jean Veber
- Alfred Dreyfus
- Francesque Duquesne
- Hubert Henri
- Jean Mayeur
- Jules Perraudin
- Jules Balmarian
- Pierre Duval
- The King in Yellow is mentioned.
- The ormolu clock is still within the TARDIS.
- The Doctor was once invited to the Rani's 94th birthday party.
The Doctor's items
- Georges-Eugene Haussmann became Prefect of Paris in the 1850s.
- Roz Forrester recals arresting the fake mystic Rhan-Te-Goth in the 30th century during her three-month stint on fraudster watch assigned by her trainer Konstantine.
- The Time Lords' lives are linear, just in more dimensions.
Theories and concepts
- The Sensory Limitation Effect is a barrier of scale where events take place over timescales too vast to be meaningful.
- This novel is based on the historical events of the Dreyfus Affair.
- The novel makes references to the disappearance of the author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid - i.e. Professor James Moriarty, last seen falling off a cliff in Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story The Final Problem.
- Anton Jarre recalls meeting a Belgian police sergeant who is clearly intended to be a young Hercule Poirot, the detective created by Agatha Christie.
- The novel makes reference to the events of The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe.
- Chris pretends to be the Fifth Doctor, not very successfully, following the events of PROSE: Cold Fusion.