The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King

"A clock counts off the seconds of a human life."

About The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King
New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King, beloved for her acclaimed Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, consistently writes richly detailed and thoroughly suspenseful novels that bring a distant time and place to brilliant life. Now, in this thrilling new book, King leads readers into the vibrant and sensual Paris of the Jazz Age—and reveals the darkest secrets of its denizens.

My two cents

Rereads usually indicate (1) I didn't get "it" the first time or (2) I loved it so much the first time that I left it unreviewed because I couldn't put a coherent thought to paper.

For this book, it's the latter. This was a five star read to me the first time around and it hasn't changed the second time around. In fact this is a rave that's been a few years in the making. It's one of those books that I classified as a favourite right off. The #ParisInJuly event reminded me that I had read this brilliant book but never got around to reviewing it. (And now here I am super late for a July event, oh well!)

First off, the setting and the era. It's set in Paris in the jazz era of the 1920s. But it's not the glitzy Paris that most novels are set in; it's the grittier underbelly of Paris. It has the lustre of Paris--albeit tarnished. It also features cameos of some prominent artists and writers of the era which melds reality with fiction in a weird, wonderful way.

Plot? This has got a brilliant plot focused on death, pain, art, and passion. An artist obsessed with bones and other memento mori as the raw material for his installations. A rich and mysterious patron of a theatre that provides entertainment in the form of shockingly realistic and provocative deaths. A photographer who captures horror so realistically that one wonders if it's extremely good acting or simply happens to be real. Missing women with a Jack the Ripper-esque feel. And of course we have a rather bumbling private detective who I wonder will actually get the job done.

If this has milieu, it's also got goth ambiance -- creepy, suspenseful, and chilling. It kept me second guessing people and their motivations. With its careful pacing, I couldn't help but gasp as the plot played itself out down to its horrifying conclusion.

You'll thank me for not going into any more detail. What I suggest is that you get a copy of this and read it for yourself so you too can experience what a great suspense novel is! I loved so many things about this novel that I am convinced need to read more of this author's work.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall