Jacqie's Reviews > The Black Tower

The Black Tower by Louis Bayard
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Nov 02, 2010

it was amazing
Read in November, 2010

Louis Bayard has written a picture of a very dark time in France, just after the Napoleonic era. Parisians were frightened to devote allegiance to any ruler because of the insane chaos of the Terror and of Napoleon's reign. There was a king again, but he wasn't a strong one. Paris was a city of survivors just trying to hunker down until the storm passed. It was hard to believe in anything. Especially for our main character, Hector Carpentier, a wastrel son of a physician turned glass grinder.

Into this wasted life comes Vidocq, a historical figure, a fascinating individual who escaped prison to become one of the first premier police detectives. The mystery begins with a dead man with Hector's name on a slip of paper in his pocket. It ends with the lost dauphin- or does it? I didn't know too much about the Bourbon's fate during the revolution, but this book makes one think about just how thin the veneer of civilization can be. The fate of the royal children was a grim one.

The book was occasionally brutal and disturbingly dark. However, the light of humanity was not extinguished in the characters, and that's what kept me enthralled.
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message 1: by Stina (new)

Stina I'm so glad you liked this one! And I am still totally bummed that I can't be there for the discussion.


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