Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Genre: Historical Thrillers
Release date: 28 03 2019
Price*: Kindle £6.64 (GBP)/ Paperback £7.93 (GBP)
Kindle $N/A (USD)/ Paperback $13.86 (USD)
Pages: ~ 384
My Rating: 6/10
You can get this book here:
What I learned from this book: It was interesting to read about the times, when the scientific revolution happened. It is kind of mesmerizing.
Description of the book: 1759: Outside the gates of the magnificent Palace of Versailles, the city of Paris sits mired in squalor and crime. One night a body is found with ghastly mutilations that shock even the hardened city watch.
The Inspector for Strange and Unexplained Deaths investigates this macabre outrage, and the clues he finds draw him into a deadly web of intrigue, bringing him face-to-face with the notorious adventurer and seducer, Giacomo Casanova.
As a second butchered corpse is discovered, the Inspector finds his revolutionary past exposed and his life in grave danger. Can he pick a path between the factions secretly warring for control of the throne and find a way to the truth?
How this book made me feel: First of all, let us appreciate this stunning cover! I absolutely love it! It has been a while since I read some historical mystery, that is why I picked this one up, and oh boy, it was a hard one to read.
The story is told from multiple perspectives, mainly by Volnay – The Inspector of strange and unexpected death, and Casanova – the seducer of everyone with a vagina. The main character I think is Volnay, and most of the time he shares his findings, uncovered with the help of his companion, the Monk. Casanova is just there, and his story was not very interesting to me, he was more of an obstacle rather than an intriguing participant. The characters are very sophisticated, refined, and most of the time very rich. The atmosphere in this book is quite grand, pompous and fancy, however, there are parts of filthiness and prostitution from time to time as well. My favourite character in this book has to be the Monk, he is the smartest and most intriguing of all of them, and Volnay would be nothing without him.
This book was quite a slow burner for me. First of all, there is not much progress happening towards the murders, and secondly, it is a very political book. There is a lot of scientific talks about alchemy, potions and other science-related things, that sound interesting, but at the same time doesn’t make sense to me at all. The topics discussed in this book were paedophilia (the king was a paedophile), prostitution, scientific inventions, alchemy, French political affairs, etc. There were not many things happening in this book, and I missed the twists and turns to speed up this book.
The writing style of this book is very rich and sophisticated, the author has to be a true intellectual, who is into philosophy and science. It is a translation from French, that’s why it is filled with French expressions and place names. The chapters were too long for my liking and felt quite draggy sometimes. The ending was quite interesting but didn’t leave me fully satisfied. So, to conclude, it is a very complex novel, filled with refined characters, and very layered and political plot. This book is very beautifully written and I believe that the author is very gifted, to be able to write a book like this, but the reader has to be an intellectual as well, to appreciate and enjoy it. So if you are into 18th century France, and enjoy books about politics and science, this historical thriller will be for you. Enjoy!
Thank you for your time 🙂
About the Author: Olivier Barde-Cabuçon is a French author and the creator of The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths, who has featured in seven bestselling historical mysteries so far. Casanova and the Faceless Woman won the Prix Sang d’Encre for crime fiction in 2012 and is the first of the series to be translated into English.
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