For the King by Catherine Delors
It is Christmas Eve of 1800 when Paris is rocked by an explosion that narrowly misses killing First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. Chief Inspector Roch Michel is called in to investigate. His investigation is not without danger for him and his family, however. Although Roch is convinced that the Chouans – royalists who wished to reinstate the French monarchy – are behind the attack, the Prefect of the police is adamant that the culprits are the Jacobins – a group to which Roch’s father has some ties. Soon it becomes clear that Roch must solve this case or risk his father’s safety, or even his life.
As is probably evident from the above description, “For the King” is something of an historical mystery or thriller, but it is written to flow more like standard historical fiction than a thriller or mystery. That combination worked brilliantly for me, I loved Delors’ writing.
Perhaps the best thing about “For the King” was how vivid the story way. Delors brought her characters and plot to live so well that I assumed the entire thing was a product of her imagination, just loosely based on the real struggles happening in France post-revolution. This turns out not to have been the case at all. Although she did take some historical liberties, melding or creating a few characters, etc in order to tell the story more fluidly, “For the King” is directly based upon real events. I was absolutely stunned to read that in her author note, after how much life she breathed into the story.
I really enjoyed “For the King” and would highly recommend it to those interested in a bit of historical mystery, or in the aftermath of the French Revolution.
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