Pursued By The Phantom

By: Jennifer Deschanel

One man forgave him years ago, while another refuses to forget.

First there was desire...

Finding normalcy is difficult while there's a price on Erik's head. Plagued by his past as The Phantom of the Opera, Erik is the target of an unrelenting manhunt. Falsely accused of killing Philippe de Chagny, brother of his nemesis Raoul de Chagny, Erik launches toward a madness that may destroy the one thing he needs most—true love. On the run with the woman who saved him from himself and struggling with his memories of another, the past is rapidly catching up to him.

Then the pursuit..

Anna is an unlikely companion in his run for freedom, sharing Erik's heart and the bounty on his head. The manhunt, initiated by the Phantom's mysterious past, soon takes an unexpected turn when Anna's darkest secrets are exposed. However, it is Christine, Raoul's wife, who puts their lives in danger when she confesses to a ruthless bounty hunter her shocking desire for Erik. Now Anna must defend Erik's innocence but doing so may very well spell her death.

Now there's only truth...

With lies and false accusations threatening the lives of both hunter and hunted, the future hinges on uncovering the truth about the past. But will the haunting memories of Philippe Georges Marie, the Comte de Chagny be enough to save them all?

A Note from the Author

“… he was a great nobleman and a handsome man. He was a little taller than average, with agreeable feature, despite a somewhat forbidding forehead and slightly cold look in his eyes. He manifested a certain polite refinement toward women and a disdain toward men who were not always willing to forgive him his worldly success. He had an excellent heart and an irreproachable conscience.”

—Gaston Leroux , The Phantom of the Opera on Philippe, Comte de Chagny.

Leroux’s original novel is an extraordinary work filled with captivating characters. Erik, known as the Phantom, is described as a murderously vengeful madman with a heart that could “hold an empire.” Leroux pens him as a monster and alludes to images of Death and fear throughout his book, yet contradicts everything with Erik’s genius and his subtle compassion, leaving the reader to choose whether to love or hate him. Was Erik a man of beauty capable of being as gentle as a lamb if only he were loved for himself, or was he the ultimate representation of sin? Erik’s character captivated many readers, but a different character caught my attention.

What of Philippe, Comte de Chagny? He was a central figure in the original book, highly influential in the life of his younger brother, Raoul, but barely rounded out by his author. Each time I read Leroux’s novel, I kept pondering Philippe’s life and his untimely death. Knowing Leroux’s background in law, I was confounded by much of what I read and by the endless holes I found in Philippe’s plot. I found myself drawn to a part of the book in the final few chapters that mentioned a mysterious character. It was here that a single remark by Leroux sparked my imagination and my series was born. Why not craft in Philippe what he did in Erik, and make him a contradiction to the plot? Create in Philippe something so unsuspected that a reader may stare at the pages in question like I did. Perhaps they’d even reread something with fresh eyes and new possibilities.

In a speech Leroux gave in Nice, France, he claimed his works had no pretenses except to, “distract the reader without overstepping the boundaries of propriety.” This is what I aimed to do with Philippe de Chagny, his role in the Opera Garnier, and ultimately in the lives of the characters involved. Naturally, I adhered to Leroux’s plot as closely as possible, but certain elements were changed to assist the flow of my series The glory of fiction and the pleasure in writing it are the reactions that linger with us long after the last word is read.

I sincerely hope Philippe de Chagny will captivate readers as much as he captivated me. I never enjoyed experiencing a character more.

Jennifer Deschanel

~ Dedication ~

For the ladies of my “God Squad,” whose individual testimonies taught me more about what I believe than all my years on earth, and who have my sincerest thanks:

Linda, Kayla, Chelsea, Laurie, Elsa…

…and Susan, whose friendship and discipleship changed my life completely. Thank you for the friend you are. You came into my life because of my “cool looking scar” and will remain there forever because of His.

Top Books