'a terrific debut from a French author and diplomat. The novel is set in prerevolutionary Paris where a young detective, Nicolas Le Floch, has to investigate the disappearance of one of his superiors. Working without modern investigative techniques in a police force reliant on torture, Le Floch confronts the ethical dilemmas of the period in a novel that brilliantly evokes the casual brutality of life in 18th-century France.'
JOAN SMITH, SUNDAY TIMES 'An engaging murder mystery that picks away at the delicate power balance between king, police and state.'
JAMES URQUHART, FINANCIAL TIMES 'Succeeds brilliantly in its reconstruction of pre-revolutionary Paris, in splendid period detail, and in its philosophic asides ...'
DOUGLAS KENNEDY, SUNDAY TIMES 'It's the superb Parisian detail and atmosphere that truly beguiles'
MARCEL BERLINS, SUNDAY TIMES 'Reads like a cross between a Maigret mystery and Les Liaisons Dangereuses ...'
MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Very strong on conveying convincing detail of the period'
EUROCRIME 'One's attention is constantly drawn either by the developments of the investigation, the evocation of ancient culinary curiosities, or just by life in 18th century Paris.'
EMMA'S WORLD 'You could almost hear the crunch of the snow, the squelch of the mud and skulk in the shadows of dark and smoky candle-lit rooms.'
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