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Slow,
Interesting,
Confusing

3 reviews

For the King
by Catherine Delors

Published: 2010-07-08
Hardcover : 352 pages
17 members reading this now
3 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 3 members
From the author of the critically acclaimed Mistress of the Revolution comes a spellbinding historical thriller set in post- revolutionary Paris.

For her first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, which the Associated Press dubbed one of the "best reads of the year," Catherine Delors ...
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Introduction

From the author of the critically acclaimed Mistress of the Revolution comes a spellbinding historical thriller set in post- revolutionary Paris.

For her first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, which the Associated Press dubbed one of the "best reads of the year," Catherine Delors earned comparisons to Tracy Chevalier and Philippa Gregory. In For the King, she again demonstrates her matchless ability to illuminate key turning points in history while weaving a gripping story about a man caught between his heart and his integrity.

The Reign of Terror has ended, and Napoléon Bonaparte has seized power, but shifting political loyalties still tear apart families and lovers. On Christmas Eve 1800, a bomb explodes along Bonaparte's route, narrowly missing him but striking dozens of bystanders. Chief Inspector Roch Miquel, a young policeman with a bright future and a beautiful mistress, must arrest the assassins before they attack again. Complicating Miquel's investigation are the maneuverings of his superior, the redoubtable Fouché, the indiscretions of his own father, a former Jacobin, and two intriguing women.

Based on real events and characters and rich with historical detail, For the King takes readers through the dark alleys and glittering salons of post-revolutionary Paris and is a timeless epic of love, betrayal, and redemption.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

It had been one of the shortest days of the Year Nine of the Republic, the 3rd of the month of Nivose in the revolutionary calendar. The 24th of December 1800, old style. Christmas Eve, as they used to say before the Revolution. Night had long fallen on Rue Nicaise. People were beginning to call it Rue Saint-Nicaise again, for saints were reappearing in everyday language. A few hundred yards away, the lights at the windows of the Palace of the Tuileries glowed dim through the fog. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the author:

Before reading FOR THE KING, had you heard of the real-life bombing that is the background of the story?

Agatha Christie famously wrote that she disliked mysteries with romantic subplots. Do you feel this novel’s romantic elements enhance or detract from the investigation of the attack?

Who in your opinion are the worst villains of this story?

What are the similarities and differences between the investigation described in this novel and its modern counterparts? What specific forensic techniques from 200 years ago surprised you?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from the author:

Is love possible at a time of terror? What drives people to slaughter innocents? How do you keep your humanity in the face of mass killers?

These questions haunted me after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and they prompted me to write this novel.

I went back in time to Christmas Eve 1800. Then the Rue Nicaise bomb attack killed or maimed dozens of Parisians, but missed Napoléon Bonaparte, the intended target. I followed the real investigators in their pursuit of the assassins, and the political exploitation by Bonaparte of the popular outrage.

All that remained was to give life to my fictional characters, Roch, the young police inspector, and Blanche, his mysterious mistress, and intertwine their love story with the actual events of that dramatic winter.

I was amazed at how closely our present tracks the past. "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it," wrote Edmund Burke more than two centuries ago. And it is still true.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "It was okay..."by lhollander (see profile) 12/03/10

I had higher hopes for this book when I read the first few pages. However, after the initial 'incident' the book moved rather slow. It picked up a bit about 2/3 of the way through, and the end was predictable.... (read more)

 
  "Slow start and ending"by jver_steeg (see profile) 12/03/10

I thought the book was a slow starter. There were so many characters and details to follow that at times it was confusing. The middle was very good, but the end dragged on and was finally somewhat disappointing.... (read more)

 
  "Smart and fascinating"by mjroseauthor (see profile) 08/06/10

This is really a terrific novel - historical fiction at its finest and a lot to talk about with a book club.

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