CSI: Ile de la Cité, mysteries, thrillers, torture and 1800 forensics

There is no denying that I got lost in Jane Austen’s world during and after the week-end, but this does not mean that I have forgotten For the King.


Rue Saint-Nicaise: the attack

First I would like to call your attention to the review penned by Gerald Everett Jones at Boychik Lit. Every author loves good reviews, and I am certainly no exception. I relish each and every one that comes my way. But this one contains some great insights. For instance, I never told Gerald that I am a fan of the CSI television show (the original, the only one, CSI Las Vegas, with William Petersen, of course.) Yet he calls this new novel of mine CSI: Ile de la Cité. I am immensely flattered!

Gerald proceeds to point out that “the modern writer’s preoccupations and prejudices seep through.” Oh, yes, and this is the way I intended it. He speaks of “the practice of torturing witnesses and suspects, as problematic an interrogation technique then as it is now.” Quite so. Another reviewer has praised me -off the record- for raising this issue, but here it is spelled out.


Pierre de Saint-Regent

It is a historical fact that Saint-Régent (left) one of the assassins was atrociously tortured, well beyond the wettest dreams of any White House Counsel.

The bones of his fingers were crushed, the plants of his feet burned, and yet he did not speak. He did not tell the investigators the identities or whereabouts of any of his accomplices, not even of the one who likely betrayed him. This is something that should give us pause today, as we ponder, or should ponder the moral consequences of terrorism.

On a lighter note, Gerald surprised me with his conclusion: my hero, Roch Miquel, is a boychik, a young man who has much to learn, especially about women. Roch, a boychik? I had never thought of it before, but yes, the definition fits him perfectly.

Speaking of CSI, I wrote a guest post at Wonders and Marvels on the use of forensics in 1800 Paris.

And last but not least, I explore the major but not necessarily obvious differences between mysteries and thrillers at Booking Mama. For the King is a thriller, not a mystery.

Also of great interest, Gerald’s review of Mistress of the Revolution.

This should keep you busy for a while…

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6 Comments to “CSI: Ile de la Cité, mysteries, thrillers, torture and 1800 forensics”

  1. Yes, I know William Petersen left the show, and so did I after his departure. To me he was the show. And Penny, yes, the famine was worse in Paris than in the provinces. Food was much more expensive in Paris because it was taxed at the city gates. If you remember Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle arrives in Paris in the midst of the construction of the huge wall of the Farmers General, the purpose of which was to facilitate the collection of excise taxes on food entering the city.

    Susan, thank you! I too was quite taken by Roch as a boychik. Gerald is a wonderfully perceptive reviewer. After your comment, I added to the post a link to his review of Mistress of the Revolution. There too his analysis was spot on.

  2. As alarming as this print is, it can’t begin to hold a candle to your description of the same catastrophe to set up the plot of “For the King.” You captured the terror and the confusion of that horrific scene to perfection. La Machine Infernale, indeed.
    As for Roch as a “boychik” — oh, I love that!

  3. Penny says:

    one more thing, is there something about Paris that made it the beginning of the revolution rather than rioting in the countryside leading to the capitol? I seem to remember reading that Louis XIV or was it his son that did not like Paris because of the Fronde?

  4. Penny says:

    Alas, William Petersen has left the show. But i still watch it from time I digress. I was impressed with the forensics in your book. I also like these prints. Did Napoleon allow the news of the explosion to be published or do we only know from historians discovering police reports? any diaries left from families affected by it? Paris must have been rocked by it.
    which reminds me I loved the dramatic foreshadowing. And of course there was some humor.

  5. Thanks, Felio! And you are sooo fast…

  6. Felio Vasa says:

    I love both the prints you posted for this blog.

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