Customer Reviews for

For the King

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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  • Posted December 8, 2013

    I knew I would enjoy this book for the very reason that it is hi

    I knew I would enjoy this book for the very reason that it is historical fiction, and I love historical fiction. Especially historical fiction that is well-researched.

    I was first taken in by this book because of the time period. I have always been fascinated by the French Revolution, but I was not too familiar with what happened after the French Revolution in Paris. Talk about it being the worst of times, maybe Charles Dickens should have written a book during that time period! It was horrid! I knew Napoleon was bad, but he made things worse than I imagined.

    After the first few chapters, my interest waned. Delors is a fantastic authoress, but for the second quarter of the book, I was not as enthralled. I don't know why. I guess I just didn't care so much about the characters. Maybe the intrigue just didn't draw me in.

    I remember that about a week ago, the plot took a twist that I wasn't expecting. That is when I was so drawn to the book that I did not want to put it down. I won't add any spoilers, but it concerns the character Blanche. And as I read on, the plot become even more intriguing. I now cared about what happened to Roch, the main character. I did not know if the ending would be happy or sad or a mix of both.

    The best part of the book for me was when Delors described the historical authenticity of the book. Although she took artistic liberty, much of what she wrote was based on actual fact. The event around which the book is centered really happened. If you do decide to read the book, do not hesitate to read that section. There is even a United States tie-in that I never would have guessed.

    In conclusion, I would recommend this book to most people with a taste for historical fiction. While I found a portion of it dry, the last half of the book made it very worth reading. The sex scenes are not graphic, for the most part. And profanity is very rare--I appreciated that. I think Delors has the power to write in such a way that you feel as though you are transported back in time and are living the events of the lives of the characters right along with them. Or at least you are watching from a safe spot close by. While it is not the best book I have ever read, it is well worth your time.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    For lovers of mystery mixed with a bit of classical Rome or England

    Suicide bombers in Republican Paris? Plus ça change.. The more things change, the more they stay the same. For the King is a police procedural novel. Think CSI, but with the Eiffel Tower in the background instead of the casinos of Las Vegas or the bridges of Manhattan.

    It's December 24, 1800, according to the old calendar, Year Nine of the Republic, the third of Nivose in the revolutionary calendar. The French Revolution began eleven years ago, the Terror, seven years ago, and they're still using Madame Guillotine (and firing squads, too). A general named Bonaparte has been winning battles throughout Europe and has recently taken on the title First Consul of the First French Republic (he won't crown himself emperor until 1804). Meanwhile, two groups are out to assassinate him: the Jacobins (extreme revolutionaries) and the Royalists who want to restore the monarchy and install Louis XVIII on the throne.

    As the story opens, three men drive a wagon filled with gunpowder along Rue Nicaise in Paris, the very route Napoleon will take that night on his way to the opera. The three men park the wagon, find a young female street vendor to hold the mare's bridle, and wait for the First Consul. But their timing is poor, and when they set off the bomb, the explosion kills numerous passers-by and leaves a crater in the street. But their target is already at the opera.

    "My telling of the search for the assassins," Catherine Delors, a French attorney with an international practice, writes in her historical note, "often considered the first modern police investigation, is based upon the archives of the Ministry and Prefecture of Police in Paris" (pg. 331). Our hero is Citizen Chief Inspector Miquel, a loner whose mistress is a member of the ci-devant aristocracy (the aristocrats "before now"). Miquel is assigned the case, but the police department is corrupt, and Miquel has to deal with a Prefect who is less competent than Sherlock Holmes's Inspector Lestrade (well, let's say he's as smart as Inspector Clouseau), corrupt politicians, and fellow cops who are both stupid and sadistic. Unlike our modern detective stories, there's no question of rights in this book. Witnesses and suspects alike are intimidated, threatened, and tortured as Riquel races with the clock to solve the crime. As in some other modern detective stories, we know who the assassins are, so the interest in this novel is the cat-and-mouse chase and how Miquel does his job.

    Quill says: If you enjoy detective stories and police procedurals and also like those stories when they're set in, say, classical Rome or medieval England, then this is a book you'll want to read.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    his is an excellent Napoleon Era French police procedural

    For the King
    Catherine Delors
    Dutton, Jul 8 2010, $26.95
    ISBN 9780525951742

    In 1800 a bomb explodes on the road Napoleon travels. He survives the attempt, but the assassins kill dozens of bystanders. Police Chief Inspector Roch Miquel investigates the assassination attempt and the homicides, in which the culprits had no regard for the innocents.

    His inquiry is hampered by his corrupt uncooperative peers. Even more of a handicap is his superior the Minister of Police Fouche, who incarcerates Roch's father on a phony charge to control his independent minded chief inspector. Feeling beleaguered and handcuffed with every step he takes, Roch turns to his married mistress Blanche Coudert for solace, but she conceals something that if it became public could leave the cop sharing a cell with his dad; that is if they are not deported or beheaded.

    This is an excellent Napoleon Era French police procedural starring a dedicated chief inspector who feels frustrated with every inquiry he makes. The investigation is cleverly designed so that for every clue he follows someone interferes. With a sense of time and place to anchor the superb story line, readers who enjoy a strong historical whodunit will want to follow Roch's efforts to solve the mass murder assassination attempt.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 23, 2011

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    Posted July 18, 2010

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    Posted October 15, 2011

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    Posted January 3, 2012

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