The Black Tower

The Black Tower

Book - 2008
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From the author of Courting Mr. Lincoln. In The Black Tower, Louis Bayard deftly 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 Eugène François Vidocq, history's legendary investigator.

Vidocq. Master of disguise and chief of a newly created plainclothes police force, Vidocq is a man whose name sends terror rippling through the Parisian underworld of 1818--and the inconsequential life of Hector Carpentier is violently shaken when Vidocq storms into it. A former medical student living in his mother's Latin Quarter boardinghouse, Hector finds himself dragged into a dangerous mystery surrounding the fate of the dauphin, the ten-year-old son of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette presumed to have suffered a cruel death years earlier in Paris's dreaded Temple. But the truth of what happened may be even more shocking--and it will fall to an aimless young man and the most feared detective in Paris to see justice done for a frightened little boy in a black tower . . . no matter what the cost.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2008.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780061173516
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY BAYARD L
Characteristics: x, 352 pages : map, geneological table ; 24 cm.


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May 04, 2019

Some books you like and some you’re not gonna. For me this is a not gonna. S-L-O-W.

lib_apart Dec 01, 2014

Inspector Vidocq thinks he’s discovered Marie Antoinette’s long-lost son, Louis-Charles, in a Paris prison, the Black Tower. The Terror of the French Revolution has long since dispersed the French royalty who were not executed and the survivors barely resemble their former selves. Bayard creates a convincing world with lots of archaic language and historical personages. It’s a good adult novel, but unlikely to appeal to teens, even those interested in the historical period.

Aug 17, 2014

This was not a style of story I enjoy. It came across as a very large newspaper article that left me feeling nothing for the characters, no love or hate, no interest or empathy.

I am also not a big fan of conspiracy theory story lines.

Sep 07, 2013

I absolutely loved this book! When I first started it, I was a little thrown off by the use of modern language and forensic techniques in 19th century England, but as I got further along, the writing style combined with the historic setting started to flow together. What annoyed me in the beginning of the book, I found charming by the end of it.

Mar 23, 2012

Thoroughly enjoyable novel set in restoration France and is about the mystery of the lost Dauphin (son of Louis and Marie Antoinette) and whether he is alive or not. Interesting (and likeable) lead characters, and vivid descriptions of early 19th century Paris. Well worth the read and this will hopefully become a series.

Oct 14, 2011

Very good book! I'll be reading more by Bayard no question. I wanted more at the end though, and a whole series with Vidocq would be most welcome. He's a fascinating rogue!

Oct 02, 2011

My second book of Mr. Bayard's and now a big fan. He brings characters to life without being too verbose. One great example of his talent is the scene where the concierge of Baroness de Preval escorts him to the Baroness. In half a page, you're able to get dialogue and be able to picture this woman having great difficulty going up the stairs.
I laughed many times with this book. This is one I may get in hardback.

Jun 21, 2009

A great read for those interested in French history; also an interesting book if you love Paris, with lots of interesting historical details of some of the well know buildings of Paris nicely woven into a terrific mystery.

Nov 15, 2008

Great book

samdog123 Oct 20, 2008

Story of Vidocq, former convict and head of the paris plainclothes police force. Takes place during the aftermath of the French Revolution and questions whether or not the Dauphin died in the Tower or actually survived to adulthood. An interesting historical and mystery read.


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