Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse, is a book I haven't read, but I thought I'd give the Channel 4 TV miniseries version of the book a go, not least because Carcassonne, where the story is set, is very high on my list of places to visit. Another factor was that, though I don't know her, I've heard Kate Mosse speak, and she does come over very well. Rightly or wrongly, this made me think I might like her best-selling story.
There are, in fact, two stories, set 800 years apart, but connected by one woman. She is Alice Tanner, a teacher who goes to France after breaking up with a boyfriend, in order to claim an inheritance under a will. En route, she volunteers to help a friend on an archaeological dig near a mysterious cave. There she has a strange experience, almost like a hallucination, which seems to connect her with a woman from the area's bloody history.
That woman is Alais, played by Jessica Brown Findlay, who is embroiled in a power struggle linked to the Crusades. Her husband is having an affair with her venomous half-sister, but Alais' task, she learns from her father, is to find the Holy Grail. Now, I must admit that this development was a bit of a turn-off, as Holy Grail quest stories are not my favourite form of fiction. On the other hand, I'm fascinated by mazes and labyrinths, and also by mysterious wills.. And there's a liveliness about the way the two stories interconnect that has kept me interested after the first two-hour instalment.
The cast is strong, including John Hurt and Janet Suzman as well as the two exceptionally attractive women in the lead roles. The lovely setting is also a plus. Certainly, watching Labyrinth has reinforced my desire to take a look at Carcassonne on of these fine days. So will I keep watching? The answer is yes.