12 January 2011
The Black Tower
I finished The Black Tower by Louis Bayard yesterday. It is a historical mystery told in flashback by Doctor Hector Carpentier. The majority of the story is set shortly after the Restoration of the monarchy in France in 1918. Dr. Carpentier meets the great criminal turned detective Vidocq when Vidocq finds the doctor's name on a dead man. As the doctor has never met the dead man, at first there is little the doctor can do for the investigation. When Vidocq and the doctor learn that the dead man believed that he had found the lost king of France, Louis-Charles, the two must race to find the man and then to try to discover his identity.
I really like this book. The mystery was great and the characters were fun. Vidocq is a character i want to read about more. I listened to it on audio and the reader did a great job. The book was very well written, very descriptive. I also found turns of the plot unexpected. My one complaint is that I thought the denouement took a bit too long. And as my French history is a bit deficient I didn't quite understand some of the references. overall though, I recommend it and give it a 6!