City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris

3.8
Seconde to conquer the “ crime capital of the world, ” the first police chief of Paris faces an epidemic of murder in the ate 1830. 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.

fearless La Reynie pursues criminals through the labyrinthine neighborhoods of the tow. He unearths a tightly knit cabal of poisoners, witches, and renegade priests. As he exposes their unholy work, he oon sees that no one is safe from black magic—not even the Sun King. In world where a royal glance can turn success into disgrace, the distance between the quietly back-stabbing world of the king ’ s appea 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 woul ge to protect his ing.

From secret courtrooms to torture chambers, City of Light, City of Poison is gripping true-crime tale of decei and murder. Based on hundred of pages of court transcripts and La Reynie ’ s compulsive note-taking, as ofte as on letters and diaries, Tucker ’ s riveting narrative makes the fascinating, real-life characters breathe on the page.
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Published March 21st 2017

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rated it

Thi history was quit compellin, but I felt nove ha ery ard to mak.

rated it

he compariso between La Reynie 's storyline and that of the murderers trying to take control of their own worlds through violent means presents a fantastic contrast.This is now among my avorite essay of all time, and coul be my favorite work of historical nonfiction.

rated it

An intensely well-researched book about a little-known ( okay, so it was little-known to me, nyway) and fairly bizarre slice of French history.

rated it

It is not.I expected a police procedural history.

hat being acknowledge, and a justification for my rating, is that it ha not what I expected based on he book description and not my cup of ea.

rated it

Louis XIV appointed Nicolas de la Reynie police chief to reduce the high crime rate in Paris at the time ( including lots of murders), but made him back off this particular investigation once fingers began to be pointed at some of Louis ’ s own mistresses.It ’ s interesting stuff, and quick read; you could ikely read it in a single sitting if so inclined.

After all the talk about Henrietta Anne I thought we ’ d get at least a theory on who might have poisoned her, but he author offers very little analysis in the end.Because the author doesn ’ t really analyze the facts presented, it ’ s another bit ard to say, but I ad the impression she was more on the side of the authorities – and more inclined to den the confessions of people who had been convicted for months or sometimes even years without trial, but with the ever-present threat of torture and execution – than I as.

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© Nicole Waggonner