Searchers in Winter: A Novel of Napoleon’s Empire
by OWEN PATAKI
Three compatriots seek to reclaim the lives they knew before the Revolution in this epic historical thriller. In the face of powerful enemies with imperial ambitions, they weave their way through convoluted conspiracies and deceit, only to discover that surviving the Revolution was just the beginning of a perilous journey toward liberty.
The year is 1806, and a new French Empire is rising from the shadow of the Reign of Terror. The citizens who shouted “Death to Kings” now chant “Vive l’Empereur!” for Napoleon, who is seeking to consolidate his power. While the peace and prosperity he promised is decadently enjoyed in Paris, fear spreads across Europe, and a new coalition has united against him.
In Poland, Andre Valiere’s efforts to serve out his conscription and return home to his family are complicated when he finds himself lured into a plot to seize a hidden fortune. Containing enough riches to bestow glory and wealth upon whoever delivers it to Napoleon, this elusive cache soon draws other, more powerful forces, wishing to claim it.
In Normandy, Sophie Valiere strives to manage the family estate in Andre’s absence, but her efforts are imperiled by an influx of refugees and their growing friction with the local farmers. Amidst the infighting that threatens to unleash chaos on the entire province, she is visited by an intriguing Count returning from exile. It isn’t long before this mysterious nobleman has his sights on a new prize.
In Paris, retired republican lawyer and former revolutionary, Jean-luc St. Clair, finds himself returning to politics. As his fortunes grow so does his list of enemies, and the opulent streets prove just as dangerous as Napoleon’s battlefields.
Inspired by the mysterious origins of the famed Rothschild’s fortune, the bloody battles of the Napoleonic wars, the notorious gangs of nineteenth-century Naples, and the real-life mistress who charmed Napoleon into granting Poland a nation-state, Searchers in Winter sets a cast of unforgettable characters—against epic historical events—into thrilling motion from the opening pages.