The Black TowerBook - 2008
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.