The Pied Piper's Poison

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9780006550778: The Pied Piper's Poison

Pungent tales of World War Two converge with more distant memories of the Thirty Years War in this powerful, compelling debut novel.

The year is 1946. The war is over. A young British army doctor finds himself ordered to investigate a curious plague in a Polish refugee camp. What he finds there is deeply unsettling and harrowing…

Meanwhile, a colleague is much more concerned with unravelling uncannily similar events three hundred years old, events twisted by the centuries into their current, misshapen form, as the fairy-story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin…

Set in the Borderlands between Germany and Poland, this powerful first novel is reminiscent in mood, complexity and accomplishment of Pat Barker’s World War One trilogy or Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong.

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Review:

‘Quite simply stunning.’
Brian Davis, Time Out

‘Assured, ambitious… The novel’s true achievement lies in its depiction of the chaos, despair, and privations which poisoned both victors and vanquished in the aftermath of the Second World War… a fascinating first novel.’
Michael Arditti, The Times

‘Wallace’s fine debut novel taps straight into the murderous black heart of the age… highly ambitious and stunningly successful.’
Peter Whittaker, Independent

From the Back Cover:

It is winter 1946 and Robert Watt, a young Army doctor, is sent to a camp in southern Poland, charged with discovering why refugees are dying of a hideous and unidentifiable disease. Is the camp being used by Russian doctors as a macabre experiment into the effects of radiation? Or are the symptoms of the disease, as Watt’s misanthropic colleague Arthur Lee believes, proof of poison that lurks within the human psyche?

This account of a young man adrift and seeking solace in medical certainties is deftly interwoven with pages from Arthur’s research paper on that most enduring of folk myths, the Pied Piper of Hamelin…These parallel narratives lead to a climax which is at once genuinely shocking and a hugely satisfying resolution to the mystery. Wallace’s book is a grainy, honest attempt to probe those dark areas we give novelists sanction to investigate. As such, it is both highly ambitious and stunningly successful.”
PETER WHITTAKER ' Independent '

“Kafka’s ' Metamorphosis ', Suskind’s 'Perfume' and David Lynch’s ' Twin Peaks ' all rolled into one – sounds good? If so, then read Wallace’s ambitious first novel, 'The Pied Piper’s Poison'. It is a heady mixture of historical drama, romance and moral allegory. Wallace’s prose style is remarkably fluent and never dull.”
TOM ANGIER 'Literary Review '

“This young Edinburgh – based writer is the first discovery of the New Year. A superbly imagined, expertly executed two-stream historical novel, linking early Cold War Europe with the horrific legacy of the Thirty Years War.”
SCOTSMAN

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