Bonnie Gayle's Reviews > The Black Tower

The Black Tower by Louis Bayard
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Nov 08, 08

bookshelves: mysteries-thrillers, historical-fiction, reviewed, library-books, favorites
Read in November, 2008

Hector Carpentier leads a boring, ordinary life during the time after the French Revolution. All of that ordinariness goes away when Vidocq, the first police chief to really go out of his way to solve mysterious murders (and a real person, the only one in the story), informs him that a man was murdered with Hector's card in his pocket. Despite Hector never having met the man before, he allows Vidocq to draw him into solving his murder.

It ends up that the murder is only the beginning of the mysteries they will encounter, as they are led out of Paris to find a man who might be Louis-Charles, the son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and heir to the throne. Everyone in France hopes that Louis-Charles secretly made it out of the Black Tower, the prison that he supposedly died in, and will one day come forward to be their King. But since the man they find has amnesia, it will take more sleuthing to discover if he is really Louis-Charles.

This was a truly excellent mystery. It's one of those rare mysteries that builds upon itself, so you never know where it's going next, and although you may have guesses about how it will end up, it always surprises you. Add to that an amazing sense of time, place, and character, and also beautifully descriptive writing, and you have an automatic add to my favorites list.

*Funny anecdote*
I had a bad dream (in the dream, the wall seperating my town house from my managers, who live next door to me, had to come down for construction. So they were constantly micro-managing my life. It was a really creepy dream.) Anyway, what I do when I have a bad dream is I'll get up and read for awhile. Otherwise I fall right back to sleep and continue on with the bad dream. So, I get up and start to read a section of this book...and what's going on in the section that I read? Hector is swarmed by hundreds of rats, and is absolutely covered by them! I had to laugh at the totally inapropriate bad-dream-banishing subject matter.
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Reading Progress

10/31/2008 page 120
32.61% "Loving it so far!"
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