“blends an artful reconstruction of seventeenth-century Paris with riveting storytelling, presenting a contest between terror and surveillance that has strong contemporary resonances”
~ The New Yorker ~
“the book reads like law and order: 17th century Parisian poisoners unit.”
~ Kelly Faircloth, Jezebel ~
“a classic whodunit, bringing alive an extremely complicated and baffling series of events.”
~ Thad Cahart, Newsday ~
“holly tucker tells [this] story . . . with great gusto and with an amazing array of facts.”
~ Jonah Raskin, New York Journal of Books ~
“stylish study of crimes committed by the high and mighty during the 72-year reign of the sun king, louis xiv.”
∼ Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times ∼
“vividly brings to life a slice of parisian history in this rigorously researched true-crime epic…reads like a combination of the most compelling mystery fiction and dumas’s romances of twisted court intrigues.”
~ Publishers Weekly Starred Review ~
“tucker’s vast body of research has been folded seamlessly into a book which is both engrossing and appalling. what unfolds is a tale of black masses, sacrificial slaughter and sacrileges beyond imagining.”
∼ Sultana Bun, Bookwitty ∼
~ Booklist ~
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CITY OF LIGHT, CITY OF POISON
Appointed to conquer the “crime capital of the world,” the first police chief of Paris faces an epidemic of murder in the late 1600s. Assigned by Louis XIV, Nicolas de La Reynie begins by clearing the streets of filth and installing lanterns throughout Paris, turning it into the City of Light.
The fearless La Reynie pursues criminals through the labyrinthine neighborhoods of the city. He unearths a tightly knit cabal of poisoners, witches, and renegade priests. As he exposes their unholy work, he soon learns that no one is safe from black magic—not even the Sun King. In a world where a royal glance can turn success into disgrace, the distance between the quietly back-stabbing world of the king’s court and the criminal underground proves disturbingly short. Nobles settle scores by employing witches to craft poisons and by hiring priests to perform dark rituals in Paris’s most illustrious churches and cathedrals.
As La Reynie continues his investigations, he is haunted by a single question: Could Louis’s mistresses could be involved in such nefarious plots? The pragmatic and principled La Reynie must decide just how far he will go to protect his king.
From secret courtrooms to torture chambers, City of Light, City of Poison is a gripping true-crime tale of deception and murder. Based on thousands of pages of court transcripts and La Reynie’s compulsive note-taking, as well as on letters and diaries, Tucker’s riveting narrative makes the fascinating, real-life characters breathe on the page.
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