Friday, October 15, 2010

Palace of Justice-Susanne Alleyn

Palace of Justice
Susanne Alleyn
Minotaur, Nov 23 2010, $24.99
ISBN 9780312379896

In 1793 in Paris, a copycat killer imitates the guillotine by beheading people. Headless corpses can be found in many neighborhoods. The police seem to make no progress on either finding the culprit of the rash of gruesome homicides or ending the terror.

Former Republic justice minister Georges Danton asks Aristide Ravel to investigate at a critical moment in peace negotiations with the English. He tells his sleuth time is short to apprehending the predator. As he follows clues, a government official becomes a victim, which only places additional pressure on Ravel to find the serial killer.

The latest Aristide Ravel French historical mystery (see The Cavalier of the Apocalypse) is a great entry that besides being an enjoyable whodunit investigation also provides a deep look at the era. Fast-paced from the moment Danton assigns the sleuth with ending the copycat serial killer; Ravel understands the cost of failure is a date with Madame Guillotine and success could also mean a date with the sharp edged executioner’s blade. This is a great entry in one of the best historical mystery series on the market today.

Harriet Klausner

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