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When James Beddoes, a former financial journalist, moves to Paris, it is ostensibly to write a novel based on the diaries of Paul-Antoine Brunel, a French lieutenant who became a leader of the Paris Commune during the Siege of Paris in 1870. But James is also in Paris to pursue a Frenchwoman, Flavie, whom he met at a party and with whom he has become infatuated. Although it soon becomes clear that Flavie is gay, James nonetheless becomes drawn into her volatile emotional relationships, all the while secretly hoping that he can change her mind. And in parallel, amid the political struggles and the battles of the Paris Siege, another love story is unfolding – between Brunel and Babette, a married restaurateur. But when James follows Flavie to Palestine, and as the Paris Siege intensifies, all four protagonists are brought face to face with the brutal reality of civil war.

Reviews

Beside his intellect, Blincoe's other great strength as a novelist is his way with plots ... [He] carries all this off with the sophistication of a crime writer, introducing twists so subtly that you might not notice the world has changed before it's too late.
Daily Telegraph
A heady combination of love, war and a grand narrative scheme. Burning Paris is a highly topical novel and the historical detail is superb
Literary Review
Blincoe handles both the period setting and the metafictional fun with flair and assurance. [He] writes pacy prose ... provoking and engaging.
Sam Thompson, Guardian
Blincoe evokes the turbulence of these terrible months of siege, hunger and bloodshed in Paris exceptionally well ... clever [and] ambitious
Scotsman
Impressively complex ... Blincoe handles his historical flicker-book deftly and reveals himself as a writer of freshly aphoristic skill.
Scotland on Sunday
A profound romance about the end of romanticism, juxtaposed with a fractured tale of modern love.
Time Out