The Black Tower

The Black Tower Vidocq The name strikes terror in the Parisian underworld of As founder and chief of a newly created plainclothes police force Vidocq has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance to capture

  • Title: The Black Tower
  • Author: Louis Bayard
  • ISBN: 9780061173509
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Vidocq The name strikes terror in the Parisian underworld of 1818 As founder and chief of a newly created plainclothes police force, Vidocq has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance to capture some of France s most notorious and elusive criminals Now he is hot on the trail of a tantalizing mystery the fate of the young dauphin Louis Charles, son of Marie AntoineVidocq The name strikes terror in the Parisian underworld of 1818 As founder and chief of a newly created plainclothes police force, Vidocq has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance to capture some of France s most notorious and elusive criminals Now he is hot on the trail of a tantalizing mystery the fate of the young dauphin Louis Charles, son of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI Hector Carpentier, a medical student, lives with his widowed mother in her once genteel home, now a boardinghouse, in Paris s Latin Quarter, helping the family make ends meet in the politically perilous days of the restoration Three blocks away, a man has been murdered, and Hector s name has been found on a scrap of paper in the dead man s pocket a case for the unparalleled deductive skills of Eug ne Fran ois Vidocq, the most feared man in the Paris police At first suspicious of Hector s role in the murder, Vidocq gradually draws him into an exhilarating and dangerous search that leads them to the true story of what happened to the son of the murdered royal family Officially, the Dauphin died a brutal death in Paris s dreaded Temple a menacing black tower from which there could have been no escape but speculation has long persisted that the ten year old heir may have been smuggled out of his prison cell When Hector and Vidocq stumble across a man with no memory of who he is, they begin to wonder if he is the Dauphin himself, come back from the dead Their suspicions deepen with the discovery of a diary that reveals Hector s own shocking link to the boy in the tower and leaves him bound and determined to see justice done, no matter the cost In The Black Tower, 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 Eug ne Fran ois Vidocq, history s first great detective.

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      Published :2018-09-14T18:38:14+00:00

    1 thought on “The Black Tower”

    1. Louis Bayard likes to take on old authors and have some fun with their worlds. In this case he is channeling Dumas in a fun mystery/adventure set in 19th century Paris. Scars from the Revolution still bleed. Napoleon has had his Waterloo and the monarchy has been restored. But who is the rightful heir to the aging Louis the 18th? Louis Bayard - image from the Washington Post Our hero, narrator and everyman is Hector Carpentier, a doctor of venereology, who lives a stunted life at his parental ho [...]

    2. Onvan : The Black Tower - Nevisande : Louis Bayard - ISBN : 61173509 - ISBN13 : 9780061173509 - Dar 368 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2008

    3. This tale reminded me of the York princes in the tower. But this story is about Prince Louis-Charles who, if crowned, would have been Louis XVII of France. Instead Louis-Charles, son of Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie-Antoinette, died in prison at the age of ten - or did he? Both the English and the French tragedies lent themselves to mystery, conspiracy theories and umpteen pretenders. In this novel the larger than life character Vidocq (1775-1857) of the French Sûreté and the narrator, H [...]

    4. _The Black Tower_ by Louis Bayard is a very enjoyable historical fiction/mystery set in Paris and its environs during the period of the Bourban Bourbon Restoration, with numerous flashbacks to the Terror of the Revolution. It is a period of huge turmoil and horror for France, where hope and possibility were mingled with despair and the worst elements of the human heart. The story proper begins as the narrator, Dr. Hector Carpentier, recalls for us what is perhaps the most eventful period of his [...]

    5. This was my second book by this author, and I loved it.Set in France during the restoration, Hector Carpentier, a failing medical student, becomes embroiled in a very strange investigation into whether the Dauphin, the son of King Louis XVII and Marie Antoinette was murdered whilst he was imprisoned in the Black Tower, a dreadful prison in Paris also known as the Temple, or if he was rescued by Hector's father, a Doctor, who it seems, was called in to treat the desperately ill little boy.When Vi [...]

    6. The Black Tower by Louis Bayard (pp. 400)Bayard tells the story of the possible lost King of France (Louis-Charles) during the Restoration through the exploits of Vidocq, the famous and feared chief of the newly established undercover police force and a Parisian doctor. As historical fiction goes, Bayard balances the details of the period, plausibility, and moving the plot along better than most. The French Revolution and fast-moving, enjoyable fiction are not two ideas that I find go well toget [...]

    7. I realize this is my second 5-star review in a row, but this book deserves it! I have never read anything by Bayard before, although "Mr. Timothy" has been on my book shelves for at least a year.Reading this book was like unstacking a set of Russian nesting dolls. There were stories within stories, and plenty of twists and turns. I enjoy books that keep me guessing until the endd even after I've turned the final page. This was one of those books.I found the character of Vidocq to be fascinating, [...]

    8. I think that I like historical fiction, but maybe I really don’t. There are a number of things that are almost inevitably true in historical fiction that drive me absolutely up the wall:There’s always a character (often the protagonist) who is wise beyond his time periodSomeone famous wanders through the plot, no matter how improbablyNo one really sounds like they’re actually from the period in which they’re livingThe Black Tower is about an amazingly prescient proto-detective and his am [...]

    9. WOW! A convoluted little story, but the characters grew on me as it progressed. Made more enjoyable because of the narration by Simon Vance, I am sure.

    10. It's Paris in 1818, and Hector Carpentier, the first-person narrator, is involved in a shabby murder that attracts the attention of Eugene Vidocq, ex-convict and now master detective. From this point on, Vidocq pulls Carpentier through a rainy and sordid Paris as this murder investigation leads to another mystery, that of Marie Antoinette's son, Louis-Charles (Louis XVII) who had died in prison during the Revolution. Or did he?The novel is a masterpiece, an evocation of the worn-down Paris of th [...]

    11. This ended up being a much better than expected historical fiction mystery. It's 1818 in Paris. The Bourbon monarchy has just been restored, and no one wants to talk about the revolution, the terror, or the little Corsican now imprisoned on Elba. But when a man is murdered with the name and address of Hector Carpentier on a piece of paper secreted in his underwear, Hector finds himself drawn into a mystery that opens a lot of the old wounds. While the young medical student swears he didn't know [...]

    12. Generally historical fiction is not my first pick on the bookshelf. But I've been hearing good things about Louis Bayard's latest books, so wanted to check one out for myself. This one is really fascinating. The main character is Eugene Francois Vidocq, the founder of the Surete Nationale--the first professional police force. I've read his biography so I was skeptical about how he would be presented in the book. A total bull's eye. The story is told by a young medical student, Hector Capentier, [...]

    13. I guess you would call this a historical mystery. Set in France, the book is more than a little dark but if you love words and the beauty they can create inside your head, you've got to like this book. Amazing how a really good writer can make almost anything palatable. There is humor here and lovely almost poetic passages. The end is a bit unresolved. The one the reader has been sure was Charles seems not to have been. Or was he? I like to think he was and somehow the dangling ends here don't b [...]

    14. 3.5 stars. Exciting but disappointing. A fun story full of twists and turns; Vidocq saves the book. But anachronistic vocabulary keeps jarring the reader out of the story. Twenty-first century slang just doesn't sound right coming from the lips of nineteenth century Parisians. Bayard might have consulted The Moonstone, Bleak House or Les Misérables to get the atmosphere more right.

    15. 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.

    16. Really enjoyed this book! I knew I would early on when I read this statement from the protagonist: "Never let your name be found in a dead man's trousers". Great historical fiction set in post-revolutionary France featuring a real-life criminal turned detective Eugène François Vidocq. The plot of the book centers around the possibility that Louis XVII remains alive, although physically and mentally damaged from his time in the Black Tower. The writing is excellent, full of wry humor and an unl [...]

    17. I bought this as an Audible Daily Deal because of its compelling reviews, and it was a well-written book which infused the flavor of post-Napoleon France beautifully. The story kept me interested and yet, for some reason, the plot faltered for me. My own first introduction to 'the lost Dauphin' was in Huckleberry Finn. I won't give away the plot but then again I am not sure how the plot was resolved. I like my plots resolved, my own life being yet unresolved :)

    18. A fun mystery set in Restoration France. Vidocq the detective is a French Sherlock Holmes who is more fun. I recommend.

    19. Louis Bayard is a master of historical fiction. He manages to transport the reader to another time and place and weave a fantastical, page turning fictional mystery, as well as incorporating historical elements and characters. I found myself unable to stop reading to get to the bottom of the mystery, while at the same time, constantly researching the real life people and events included in this story, longing to know more. He made Paris come alive; from the squalor of those living in poverty, to [...]

    20. As in his first book, "The Pale Blue Eye", Bayard takes some liberty with historical events and builds a mystery around them. In "The Pale Blue Eye" he used Edgar Allen Poe as his focal point. In "The Black Tower" he uses the Lost King of France, Louis XVIII as his catalyst for this mystery.When Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were executed, their son was imprisoned at eight years old. He was never let out of his cell, his body and clothing were infested with lice, he was given slop to eat, and w [...]

    21. The setting is 1818 Paris. The Bourbons have been unsteadily restored to the throne of France after the successive upheavals of the Revolution and Napoleon's reign. The novel features no less a character than the legendary (yet historical) convict turned detective Vidocq.The narrator, naive medical student Hector Carpentier, crosses Vidocq's path, and also that of a young man who might be Louis XVII, the son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Hector will soon come to understand that there is no [...]

    22. Black Tower - Louis Bayard audio performance by Simon Vance4 starsI'm a man of a certain age--old enough to have been every kind of fool--and I find to my surprise that the only counsel I have to pass on is this: Never let your name be found in a dead man's trousers.Dr. Hector Carpentier is remembering a strange and significant piece of his past. It involves the mystery of a Bourbon prince, the historical, criminal, criminalist, Eugene Francois Vidoqc, and a murder or two. The story has three ti [...]

    23. I finished The Black Tower by Louis Bayard. This is the first of his books I have read. It has the crass multi faceted Vidocq the father of modern investigative techniques, teaming up with the young Dr. Carpentier whose father was Physician to the children of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette while they were imprisoned in the Temple. Called to investigate the murder of a man with Dr. Carpentiers name and address found with the body, Vidocq finds he is not just investigating a murder but the possibi [...]

    24. Vidocqe most famous police detective in French history and feared by all. In this book,when a man is found dead Vidocq arrests a physician who he initially mistakes for the young man's late father of the same name. The physician's father's name is found on a slip of paper in the corpse's pocket but what does it mean? Periodically the story slips back in time to record the diary of someone who is treating a prisoner of the Revolution. We soon realize that it is the father's record of his medical [...]

    25. Read this mostly because it was set in the same neighborhood where I stay when I'm in Paris--in fact the protagonist lives on the same street as the apartment where I stay.After Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were killed, their children lived on for some time in the black tower of the Temple. Eventually, the Dauphin, he who would have been Louis XVII, died. Or did he? That's the premise of the novel. The story itself is all right, but not especially brilliant. Mostly I liked seeing and reading a [...]

    26. There is something about a Louis Bayard novel. You are transported to back in time to another world. The book usually features a historical or literary character. In this case, it is the figure of Vidocq, the first forensic detective, and the place is post-revolutionary France. A search for the missing Dauphin, the heir to the throne. One of the other features of a Louis Bayard novel is that you are left feeling that perhaps these events actually occurred. Another thing is the books seem to get [...]

    27. I'm glad that I read this in audiobook format. Not only is Simon Vance a wonderful narrator but his voice is perfect for historical fiction. Also, I know my weaknesses and at several tense points in the story I would have been very tempted to "peek" at the end if I were reading a traditional book. Ultimately that would have spoiled a lot of my enjoyment of the book because Bayard leaves the events of his story open to (at least) three different interpretations by the reader, adding layers of pos [...]

    28. Enjoyed this story very much, look forward to reading more by this author.Most of the tale is set in post revolutionary France, just after the reign of Napoleon (he is in exile on Saint Helena). 1818 and people are still afraid for their lives and no one is safe from the government. Especially the remaining aristocracy. Rumors abound that a very particular aristocrat that had long been thought dead was in fact alive.This is a stand alone novel which is too bad since 2 of the main characters woul [...]

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