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Thief of Souls

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  22 reviews
With her acclaimed novels The Plague Tales and The Burning Road, Ann Benson has carved out a unique place on the literary landscape with her fascinating alchemy of mystery, history, and psychological terror. Now this gifted storyteller returns with an astounding tale of two crime waves separated by nearly 600 years. In each, the victims are children. In each, the perpetrat ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Dell (first published 2002)
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3.71  · 
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 ·  282 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Oct 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
It’s been awhile since a book has made me this angry.

There’s an undercurrent of homophobia and transphobia that runs throughout Ann Benson’s bloated, long-winded and uninteresting novel “Thief of Souls.” The story alternates between two different time periods, one the fifteenth century narrated by the former wet nurse of serial killer of young boys Gilles de Rais and the other the twenty-first century narrated by a detective investigating a string of murders eerily similar to the aforementioned
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It has taken me a day to process this book. Devastating is the best word I can come up with. Historical fiction based on horrifying events of the 1400's that correlate to today. The author is very good at telling two stories and keeping you on the edge of your seat. I enjoyed the characters and the stories, but be forwarned it is a very heart-wrenching one. There are detailed descriptions of some of the depravity of Bluebeard of old and the modern equivalent. As the detectives had to ask over an ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hist-fic
The plot shifts rapidly between two parallel stories, each of which traverses rocky ethical, legal, and moral terrain. The heroines are two intensely humanistic women whose lives vary greatly, but who share the characteristic of willingness to sacrifice self-interest for the greater good of the communities in which they work and live.
Erika Schmid
If you ask me how I actually got through this novel, I do not have an answer. While alight with historical elements, which was my initial draw, the story itself fell short for me in a number of ways. I could have overlooked the horrible nature of this story, of the monsters who inspired it, if the other characters had made me compassionate.

Two timelines converge in this novel. One which occurs in 1440 in France, with Guillemette le Drappière, a former noblewoman and now a woman forced to a conv
Monique Hodgkinson
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
At times I was transported into another time as I read this book. I could imagine myself living in France during the Renaissance. The subject matter is a little chilling, but it is always interesting they way Ann Benson ties together two stories taking place in different eras. I was hooked in right from the beginning. About 2/3 of the way through it really picked up steam.
Maria Ripoll Cera
Un policíaco-histórico entretenido de leer y que trabaja una de las figuras históricas que me llama la atención: Barbazul. No puedo decir más: entretenido.
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Frankreich des 15. Jahrhunderts verschwinden mehrere männliche Jugendliche. Zunächst beachtet keiner die Vermisstenmeldungen, da die Kinder hauptsächlich aus der ärmeren Bevölkerungsschicht kommen. Erst als sich die Äbtissin Guillemette Nachforschungen anstellt tut sich das Ausmaß der verschwundenen Jungen dar. Und bald gibt es auch einen Verdächtigen: Alle Spuren zu ihren Ziehsohn Gilles de Rais.
Los Angeles, Gegenwart. Detective Lany Durban untersucht das Verschwinden eines männlichen Jugend
Christina Ward
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
***I am not giving 3 stars because of the QUALITY of the writing of this book. This book is very well written and engrossing and will suck you right in...

and DISTURB the shit out of you.

Not for the faint of heart...this book bothered me. Having said that, this was based on the character Bluebeard, who will forever haunt me as one of the most despicable people to have ever walked this earth.

Just letting you know, the writing won't disappoint, just realize it's not your average novel...

Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
No me suelen gustar los thrillers por alguna razón. No voy a mentir y decir que soy el cuchillo más afilado del cajón y, la mayor parte del tiempo, los misterios no son mi fuerte. Lo policiaco, menos. Entonces, ¿qué cojones hago leyendo este thriller-policiaco-historico? Pues, básicamente, me interesó la parte histórica. Había escuchado hablar de Grilles de Rais, pero nunca había leído de él. Así que empecé el libro bajo un montón de ecs, venga, tú puedes porque había leido unas críticas que acu ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great mystery & historical novel all rolled into one. The parallels between Gilles de Rais and the child killer in modern day LA were chilling. For those unfamiliar with Gilles de Rais, he was a brother in arms to Joan of Arc, but he had a deep dark secret in that he was one of the fiercest child killers in history. He was appropriately punished for his crimes, but not all the children that he murdered were recovered as most of them were burned by his accomplices.

The story is tol
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was a little disappointed in this book compared to her other trilogy. In the Plague tales trilogy there was s solid connection between past and present, and in this one it was really just two stories that had parallel similarities to them. There was no other deeper connection other than that the women were involved in a child abductor's capture and trial. In fact the historical side had less for the character to do than the present day one. I wouldn't revisit this one again. Shame because I th ...more
Carolyn Magura
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Ms. Benson's books greatly!! I highly recommend them to anyone who loves a thought-provoking, semi-spiritual or "character-building" book balanced with intrigue!! Great reads all!!
Jun 05, 2010 rated it liked it
This was an interesting mix of fiction and historical fiction - really two stories in one! The historical fiction story is an account of the person who ispired the tale of Bluebeard. I was not familiar with this character so it was compelling. A fast-moving, at times gruesome,read!!
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
A little bit long winded. Would've made 2 very good books tho. Found myself wanting to skip chapters so I could read the whole medieval story, and then go back and read the modern one - but restrained myself. Enjoyed it nonetheless.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, reread
Well written mystery with a deeply disturbing subject matter that is not often written about. It haunted me after I read it long ago and for some reason I did a reread. Fascinating true history.
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Really liked this book. My favorite of this author is the Plague Tale Series. Excellent reading.
3.5 stars

Not for the faint-hearted...
Sharon Davies
riveting, but disturbing
Jun 11, 2008 rated it liked it
a little slow, but still interesting
rated it liked it
Mar 24, 2013
Donna Dean
rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2008
Tracey Hadaway
rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2014
rated it did not like it
Jan 29, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 29, 2009
rated it it was ok
May 03, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2012
Barb Westhoven
rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2012
Barry Hill
rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2011
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