Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Black Tower
Through a well-crafted historical thriller, Louis Bayard recreates Paris' days of Restoration in The Black Tower. Vidocq, a crass, but brilliant detective, begins to investigate Hector Carpentier, a young medical student, when Hector’s name is found upon a dead body. One murder leads to another and Vidocq and Hector begin chasing a mystery that began twenty years previously when many French believed that Louis-Charles the dauphin, son of Marie-Antoinette, escaped the torture and entrapment of the notorious Black Tower. The plot thickens when Vidocq and Carpentier begin to wonder if the dauphin had escaped The Black Tower, who would kill to ensure that the potential King not be found?
The Black Tower was excellently written. The pages turned themselves as the mystery propelled the reader along. Vidocq’s character was at once obnoxious and endearing. It was clear why Hector, trying to battle his own family demons, was drawn to Vidocq. Bayard offers the perfect balance of historical fiction and thrill in The Black Tower.