Yvonne Ryan's Reviews > The Chatelet Apprentice

The Chatelet Apprentice by Jean-François Parot
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Sep 12, 07

Read in August, 2007

I'm just about half way through but it's turning out to be almost gripping. It's set in Paris around 1760 and manages to paint a vivid picture about life in the city at that time without too many of the obvious "there goes Will Shakespeare, he's going to be famous one day you mark my words" comments, or the "oh so many dedicated hours of research in a dusty library so I can show you how clever I am" moments. Ok, I was too hasty in writing that because the very remark about Shakespeare crops up about two-thirds of the way through so I've demoted it by a star.

The protagonist is a young Breton, Nicolas le Floch, who becomes a policeman. He is asked to investigate the disappearance of a senior policeman who was apparently involved in all manner of skullduggery. Things are slightly complicated by the fact that le Floch lives in the policeman's house along with the policeman's dubious second wife, his daughter and a servant who has a very peculiar method of speech! There are quite a few gruesome bits, which I'm skimming over, and the timeline is a little confusing at the beginning, although that could be more to do with my tendency to skim read than anything else, but so far, so good.

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