“A clever, gripping thriller — a Da Vinci Code for those who like their prose to be elegant as well as page-turning.”
THE TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR
“Of the many novels enjoyed this year, I particularly relished Manda Scott’s imaginative retelling of the Joan of Arc story.” Kate Mosse
THE IRISH TIMES
“Leaping brilliantly between the 15th century and today, Into the Fire is an extraordinary blend of the past and present.” Terry Wogan
“Into the Fire by Manda Scott, is a clever combination of contemporary anxieties and the story of Joan of Arc.”
“Manda Scott’s Into the Fire, which entwines a modern French cop’s case with Joan of Arc, is seriously clever writing.”
Into the Fire
Brilliantly linking past and present, Manda Scott’s exhilarating thriller challenges us to think again about one of the most enduring legends in history.
February 2014: Police Capitaine Inés Picaut is called out to investigate a blaze in the old town of Orléans. This is the fourth in a series of increasingly brutal arson attacks, and at the centre of the conflagration lies a body. An Islamic extremist faction claims responsibility, but Inés and her team cannot find any evidence of its existence. A partly melted memory card found in the victim’s throat is the only clue to his identity.
September 1429: Joan of Arc is in the process of turning the tide of The Hundred Years’ War. English troops have Orléans under siege, and Tomas Rustbeard, the Duke of Bedford’s most accomplished agent, finally has her in his sights. But he knows that killing ‘The Maid’ – the apparently illiterate peasant girl who nonetheless has an unmatched sense of military strategy and can ride a warhorse in battle – is not enough. He must destroy the legend that has already grown around her. And to do that, he must get close enough to discover who she really is.
More fires rage and the death toll mounts while Inés fights to discover what connects an expert in the analysis of war graves, the unquenchable ambitions of the Family which seeks to hold the city in its absolute power, and the discredited historical theories of her own late and much lamented father.
When Tomas risks everything to infiltrate the hotly defended inner circle of the Saviour of France, he finally discovers a secret that will prove as explosive nearly six hundred years later as it would do if revealed in his own time.
As each thread of Manda Scott’s immaculately interwoven narrative unfolds, Inés and Tomas’s quests become linked across the centuries. And in their pursuit of the truth, they find that love is as enduring as myth – but can lead to the greatest and most heart-breaking of sacrifices.
Download the First Chapter Free
Download the First Chapter Free
The myth is of a mystic peasant girl, visited by angels and saints, who acted as a standard bearer and morale-booster for the French army to such good effect that they began to win. Here are 5 reasons why this isn’t reasonable, fair or borne out by the truth…
The breakthrough in ‘who could she have been?’ came from a newspaper article in the Independent which detailed the visit of a Ukrainian orthopaedic surgeon to a small village near Orléans …
With a story as powerful today as it was 600 years ago, it’s no surprise that the 19 year old heroine has been used (and abused) by people who want to claim her for their cause…
Into the Fire is the culmination of a fourteen year writing apprenticeship. This podcast looks at how I came to find the truth behind the myth of Jeanne d’Arc, how it merges with a contemporary thriller and how each thread fed into the other…
Sometimes a character jumps out of nowhere: he or she wasn’t in the outline and didn’t have a key part in the plot – but they arrive and are so alive, so compelling that they take over every scene and muscle their way up to the top of the character tree…
There are authors for whom battles are simply a blood fest and their books are generally (to my mind) unreadable. In the same way that dialogue grows out of our characters and strives always to reveal more, enabling the reader to get under their skins, so must a battle bring us deeper, closer, into more intimate relationship with our characters…