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MEMORIA

Roman empire XXIst century: from the Atlantic coast to Central Asia, the Latin world celebrates the bimillenium of Caesar Augustus’ death, the founder of the Imperium. Meanwhile, a series of grim killings parodying, in sinister ways, the past centuries’ history stains the capital of Gaul with blood. Detective Osvaldo Gabinius Metellus is ordered by the Praetorium to solve this dark case. The investigation will lead Metellus from Lugdunum’s slums and the matriarchy’s brothels to the heart of prestigious institutions, as well as deep into the unknown abyss of his own memory.

Memoria is an uchronic thriller taking place in a roman civilization that has continued to the present time. It follows detective Metellus’s investigation of a series of sadistic crimes striking Lugdunum, the capital of Gaul. While bimillennial celebrations of the death of emperor Augustus unfold, this orgy of murders creates psychosis in the city. A dark novel on a peplum background, Memoria blends memory of the antiquity, values and lifestyle of past civilizations as well as modern technology.

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The Strange China of Doctor Fu Meng Zhou

At 210 years of age, the intriguing Doctor Fu Meng Zhou has lived through many episodes of China’s tumultuous history. Having succeeded in building an underground criminal empire in the grey areas of the recent economic boom, he is now facing unexpected challenges with a stark political approach adopted by the country’s new leadership. From Shanghai to Inner Mongolia’s  steppes, from the Pearl River’s delta to Macao’s casinos, from the heart of power in Beijing, within the closed walls of Zhongnanhai, to Yunnan’s borders, rife with trafficking, Doctor Fu Meng Zhou strives to preserve and develop his businesses, against the backdrop of a strange China.

The Strange China of Doctor Fu Meng Zhou is a fictional take on the past and recent history of China, through a lens of crime. The main character draws his inspiration from villains of early XXth century Western literature such as Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu or Henri Vernes’s Yellow Shadow. Despite this tribute paid to past popular literature however, Doctor Fu Meng Zhou dispenses of most clichés and stereotypes regarding Asian villains. His trajectory and background are set in close relationship with the evolving history of China. Fu Meng Zhou’s criminal road trip also showcases a changing China wherein the dominant power of present president Xi Jinping asserts itself, weakening the weight of other political factions.

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Born in Paris, France, Aliocha Nguyen Canto studied history at the Sorbonne University and graduated from Sciences Po, the Institute of Political Studies of Paris. He currently works for the international service of the Ministry of Agriculture in France. Previously, he worked for the French Adoption Agency and for AgroParisTech, an engineering school. Fond of literature and music, Aliocha Nguyen Canto is also an experienced traveler, which broadened his knowledge of many other cultures. His first published book is The Strange China of Doctor Fu Meng Zhou, a dark novel that takes place in contemporary China. With Memoria, a book published in May 2021, Aliocha Nguyen Canto changes his thriller’s setting to the Roman Empire circa XXIst century, the backdrop for a blood-stained detective story.

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