City of Light, City of Poison

City of Light, City of Poison

Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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Based on thousands of pages of court transcripts and La Reynie's compulsive note taking, as well as letters and diaries, this true-crime narrative describes the exploits of the first police chief of Paris, France as he pursues criminals through the dark labyrinths of the crime-ridden city in the late 1600s.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393239782
Branch Call Number: 363.20944 TUC
Characteristics: xxiii, 310 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm

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Activevoice
Sep 10, 2017

This book is not for the faint of heart. The routine torture endured by the victims of the French Justice system after they were found guilty made me ill. Tucker spends a great deal of time detailing this procedure and, I found, has very little sympathy for the women (mostly) trapped in this sexist, hysterically paranoid, society of Louis 14th. I rather think of the poisoners as victims of brutal, tyrannical, and mostly old husbands; their suppliers of poison as ignorant, poor, and powerless; all destined to die at the hands of a corrupt and cruel church and state. However, if anyone has a lingering desire to be part of a grand court this is the cure.

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brangwinn
Aug 06, 2017

The author spends much time in setting the decadent French scene in the late 1600’s as she deftly tells the story of the first police chief in scandal filled Paris. If nothing else, one comes away from the book with the understanding that it takes great writing skill to make historical research so readable.

AL_SUMMER May 23, 2017

Tucker offers a detailed account of the darker side of Paris in the late 1600s pulled from the notes of Nicolas de La Reynie. Some chapters focus on court intrigue rather than crime in order to demonstrate the reach of the poison trade.

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