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Short Synopsis
From the author of the national bestseller Ghostwalk comes another ambitious, suspenseful, elegant novel of ideas, set in France in 1815.

Full Synopsis
In her virtuosic debut, Ghostwalk, Rebecca Stott unfolded an extraordinary and true mystery involving Isaac Newton and set in seventeenth-century Cambridge. The Coral Thief is another intriguing mystery and love story, centering on pre-Darwinian theories of evolution and set in Paris right after Napoleon's surrender at Waterloo.

Upon his arrival in Paris, where he has come to study anatomy, Daniel Connor, a young medical student from Edinburgh, finds that his letters of introduction and precious coral specimens have been stolen by the beautiful woman with whom he shared a stagecoach. But when he begins searching for his lost items—and the alluring woman who stole them—Daniel is thrust into a tumultuous, underground world of philosopher thieves obsessed with the emerging theories of evolution. As he is pulled into their plot to steal a precious jewel from the Jardin des Plantes, and as he falls in love with the mysterious coral thief, Daniel is introduced to a radical theory of evolution that irrevocably changes his conception of the world in which he lives.

As riveting and beautifully rendered as Ghostwalk, The Coral Thief is a provocative and tantalizing mix of history, love, and philosophy.

"With consummate skill and compassion, Stott plunges Daniel the innocent into a serpentine plot that involves spies, philosophers, revolutionaries and scientists.... [A] hybrid novel of action and ideas." ---The Washington Post

"This strong historical novel...contrasts the era's passion for science, philosophy, and history with its desire for love, devotion, and beauty. The prose is elegant...and the plot is filled with exciting twists." ---Library Journal Starred Review

"Skillfully embeds early 19th-century culture, history and attitudes into a story that flows like the Seine and floods the senses." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"Riveting on all fronts, from its suspenseful plot to its elegant presentation of evolutionary theory." ---Booklist Starred Review

"A powerful offering from an immensely talented writer.... Vividly atmospheric, propulsive and intricately plotted." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"A historical scientific romance-thriller? Rebecca Stott has quite possibly invented the genre. A-" ---Entertainment Weekly
Library Journal Review

Kirkus Review

Booklist Review

Publishers Weekly Review

AudioFile Bestseller

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

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The Coral Thief

A Novel

Author Rebecca Stott

Narrated by Simon Prebble

Publication date Sep 29, 2009

Running time 9 hrs

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