Trespass, By Rose Tremain

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The Independent Culture

Culture clash, murder mystery, portrait of a place, meditation on the sands of time: Tremain's latest novel packs several genres into its disputed patch of French rural ground. In the lovely, doom-laden hills of the Cévennes, faded London antiques dealer Anthony, lover of handsome furniture and youths, seeks a quaint mas to act as his final rampart of beauty against age.

Yet in this tangled backwater where the past squats on the present and "everything... weighs so much", the secretive Lunel family and its unsleeping feud will intrude on his golden-years idyll.

As Audrun Lunel tells Anthony, as the novel twists through its richly rendered landscape towards a pleasurably chilling climax, "we have difficulty forgetting". So do all these folk.