The Black Tower by Louis Bayard

Preparing For Christmas Season In The Harried Book World: Book #5

Although this is a pick for September’s Indie Bound’s Indie Next list the blurbs for next month aren’t up on-line yet. Thus, you will have to make do with the book description for now:

“Hector Carpentier, a medical student, lives with his widowed mother in her once-genteel home, now a boardinghouse, in Paris’s Latin Quarter, helping the family make ends meet in the politically perilous days of the restoration. Three blocks away, a man has been murdered, and Hector’s name has been found on a scrap of paper in the dead man’s pocket: a case for the unparalleled deductive skills of Eugene Francois Vidocq, the most feared man in the Paris police. At first suspicious of Hector’s role in the murder, Vidocq gradually draws him into an exhilarating–and dangerous–search that leads them to the true story of what happened to the son of the murdered royal family.

In ‘The Black Tower,’ Bayarddeftly interweaves political intrigue, epic treachery, cover-ups, and conspiracies into a gripping portrait of family redemption–and brings to life an indelible portrait of the mighty and profane Eugene Francois Vidocq, history’s first great detective.”

Now I know the first thing most people think of when they think of me is “epic treachery” but to be honest – this isn’t the kind of book I normally read or like. However, I was quite taken with this one. I didn’t adore it wholeheartedly but I was quite smitten with Bayard’s style of writing. In fact, I know I have one of her earlier novels, “Mr. Timothy”, on my bookshelf and as soon as Christmas season (and the tireless prep of reading books to recommend for people during Christmas season) is over I shall pick it up. Although, seeing as that book is based on Timothy Cratchit from A Christmas Carol fame perhaps I should get to it BEFORE the holidays.

ETA: Here’s the Indi Next List blurb

“In The Black Twoer, a ne’er-do-well medical student is surprised by the founder and chief of a newly created Paris plainclothes police force and is asked to help solve a mystery involving French royalty, with surprising and dangerous results. Bayard’s talent for spinning a suspenseful story along in the margins of known history makes his books irresistible.” — Carol Schneck





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