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Main page » Fiction literature » For the King

For the King


Similar in plot, style, and setting to Balzac's The Chouans, Delors' uneven second novel (following Mistress of the Revolution, 2008) bogs down under the weight of a mixture of French terms, tangential details, and a large cast of characters, most of whom are referred to by nicknames, titles, proper names, and surnames. Readers who persevere, however, will be struck by the author's evocation of eighteenth-century Paris: the physical descriptions of post-Revolutionary life, the unsavory and treacherous political climate, and the blatant injustice and corruption perpetrated under Napoléon Bonaparte. Chief Inspector Roch Miquel, of the Police Prefecture, disliked by both his colleagues and superiors, nearly ruins himself and his father in the course of his investigations into an explosive attempt on Napoléon's life on the Rue Nicaise (later known as the Machine Infernale). Unfortunately, love-struck Miquel's blundering leaves him in the readers' dust when it comes to solving the puzzle.

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Tags: under, eighteenth-century, evocation, Paris, physical