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The Bones of Paris

Average Rating 3.5
( 21 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

It has been three years since the events of Touchstone, and Harr

It has been three years since the events of Touchstone, and Harris Stuyvesant is a little harder, a little more cynical and more than a little bit lost. He's survived on odd jobs and meaningless affairs since he gave up investigating and was given up by Sarah Grey. Now,...
It has been three years since the events of Touchstone, and Harris Stuyvesant is a little harder, a little more cynical and more than a little bit lost. He's survived on odd jobs and meaningless affairs since he gave up investigating and was given up by Sarah Grey. Now, however, he has a case that will challenge his somewhat aimless existence and bring him face to face with the ghosts of his past.

As he searches for a missing girl, Stuyvesant finds himself plumbing the most Stygian depths of Paris. Even his jaded eyes are surprised by the deeply disturbing and peculiarly sensual world he discovers. I was surprised and disturbed as well, yet could not look away. The rich and eerie descriptions were as revolting as they were compelling, sending shivers down my spine. It is a no-holds-barred exploration of some of the strangest artistic minds of the time. This is not a book for the faint of heart.

Despite the relentlessly macabre displays that take up so much of this novel, I did enjoy it a great deal. The writing was flawless, the mystery was fascinating and original, and I liked seeing Stuyvesant, Bennett and Sarah again. Of the three, Sarah has changed the most. She is, understandably, not so exuberant as before and a good deal stronger. However, she is still drawn to dangerous friendships and continues to have excellent taste in her romantic attachments.

There were some interesting new characters introduced, which almost made up for the fact that Bennett was hardly in most of the book. I especially liked Doucet and Nancy; a determined French cop and the very straightforward room-mate of Philippa Crosby, the girl Stuyvesant is attempting to find. Then there is the shudder-inducing Didi Moreau and the sophisticated, multi-layered Dominic Charmentier. Each new character is utterly unique in their own ways and completely unforgettable.

If you enjoyed Touchstone, you will enjoy The Bones of Paris. It has all the things that made the previous novel great as well as several memorable new additions. I would recommend it to those who enjoy the darkest of mysteries and gothic horror.

I received an advance e-copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

posted by LiederMadchen on September 10, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

The reading slump marches onward, as do I. I almost feel like th

The reading slump marches onward, as do I. I almost feel like the poster child for one of those anger management classes where we discuss our feelings and the source of our discontent and why we have problems dealing with our emotional issues and why we can’t get along ...
The reading slump marches onward, as do I. I almost feel like the poster child for one of those anger management classes where we discuss our feelings and the source of our discontent and why we have problems dealing with our emotional issues and why we can’t get along and actually be productive, contributing members to society. I don’t have a valid reason for my current behavior, other than to say I’ve been disappointed and repelled with the current crop of books that has made its way onto my Kindle. Most of it is of my own doing, but I couldn’t say no to free books, and I wanted to broaden my horizons a bit with some different reads. I’d like to apologize in advance as I attempt to control my out-of-synch behavior and reach that happy place—that book loving utopia—that I know is out there waiting for me, but alas, I will not find with THE BONES OF PARIS.

That’s not to say this tale is a bad or horrid or evil or wicked or corrupt read. Oh, no, this novel held promise and writing talent and dangled both in front of me like the proverbial carrot, as my jaws snapped at the proffered present, and I clenched nothing but air between my teeth. I tried and tried and tried again to end up sucked into a world where Paris, France stood tall and proud and larger-than-life with characters who felt realistic and hopeful and truthful, and I ended up flat on my back with my legs sticking straight up in the air in a sort of bike pedaling motion.

Harris Stuyvesant proved to have one-too-may sticks up his bunghole, and try as I might, I couldn’t pull them all out without removing most of his personality in the process. While he was certainly an admirable character, I never felt emotionally connected to him, almost as if he stood at a distance, while I stood at an easel and politely provided a portrait. Nancy Berger and Sarah Grey, however, proved much more to my liking and every bit as entertaining as I had hoped poor Harris would be. The rest of the cast of characters proved both interesting and a bit off-putting in a snooty sort of air that left my feathers more than a bit ruffled.

The main plot proved engaging, but the sidebars and sidetracks and subplots and runaway tractor trailers kept me from ever being fully engaged in this tale. Instead, I stood on the side of the road with my thumb pointed upward, as this tale passed me by without even a second glance in my direction. And for a while the writing was good enough that it didn’t matter, but about a third of the way through I began to have my doubts that only snowballed downhill faster than a Model T.

*BEGIN SPOILER* The climax and resolution left me more than a bit underwhelmed. To have the villain blame the machine for the rather fantastical killing spree seemed just a wee bit much to me. And what kind of a name is Le Comte Dominic de Charmentier? He sounds as pompous as a proud politician, but yet he’s this criminal mastermind that pretty much spouts at the mouth like a fountain telling Bennett Grey the reason for his actions, and then he’s going to off himself with his own gun. It all seemed a bit too Candy Land for me. *END SPOILER*

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Robert Downs
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

posted by RobertDowns on September 10, 2013

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  • Posted September 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It has been three years since the events of Touchstone, and Harr

    It has been three years since the events of Touchstone, and Harris Stuyvesant is a little harder, a little more cynical and more than a little bit lost. He's survived on odd jobs and meaningless affairs since he gave up investigating and was given up by Sarah Grey. Now, however, he has a case that will challenge his somewhat aimless existence and bring him face to face with the ghosts of his past.

    As he searches for a missing girl, Stuyvesant finds himself plumbing the most Stygian depths of Paris. Even his jaded eyes are surprised by the deeply disturbing and peculiarly sensual world he discovers. I was surprised and disturbed as well, yet could not look away. The rich and eerie descriptions were as revolting as they were compelling, sending shivers down my spine. It is a no-holds-barred exploration of some of the strangest artistic minds of the time. This is not a book for the faint of heart.

    Despite the relentlessly macabre displays that take up so much of this novel, I did enjoy it a great deal. The writing was flawless, the mystery was fascinating and original, and I liked seeing Stuyvesant, Bennett and Sarah again. Of the three, Sarah has changed the most. She is, understandably, not so exuberant as before and a good deal stronger. However, she is still drawn to dangerous friendships and continues to have excellent taste in her romantic attachments.

    There were some interesting new characters introduced, which almost made up for the fact that Bennett was hardly in most of the book. I especially liked Doucet and Nancy; a determined French cop and the very straightforward room-mate of Philippa Crosby, the girl Stuyvesant is attempting to find. Then there is the shudder-inducing Didi Moreau and the sophisticated, multi-layered Dominic Charmentier. Each new character is utterly unique in their own ways and completely unforgettable.

    If you enjoyed Touchstone, you will enjoy The Bones of Paris. It has all the things that made the previous novel great as well as several memorable new additions. I would recommend it to those who enjoy the darkest of mysteries and gothic horror.

    I received an advance e-copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    In the world of art there is a fine line between genius and luna

    In the world of art there is a fine line between genius and lunacy


    The main character Harry has got the laid back attitude of a Sam Spade like detective. Never more than a step away from a willing romp or glass of booze.
    The setting is late 1920s in Paris, where the rich, famous and allegedly talented hang out together. A time and era that is filled to the brim of names yet to become globally infamous.
    Paris of that time period was filled with an air of decadence and conceptual freedom.
    That gaudy sense of the macabre and pleasure in the forbidden fruit takes center stage in this book. The boundaries of taste are lost within the pseudo intellectual meanderings of artists and their benefactors. Art is no longer distinguishable between sadistic tendencies and the ideas of a genius. One man's art is another man's rubbish or in this case hidden lunacy.
    The conclusion seemed a little rushed. The reader is confronted with lists of names of missing people that offer up no real connection to the crime, ergo useless to the reader. The main character couldn't find a link between the missing so it isn't any wonder the reader can't.
    Apparently you have to have faux Sherlock powers to able to figure it out. The why, who and when is presented on a five minute platter towards the end to a secondary character. That didn't make a lot of sense after the whole Harry build up.
    There was a lot of name dropping but I think the author wanted to clarify that this was the norm in that era. Artists, writers, the wealthy and the famous did all flock together like birds of a feather in certain cities/countries. It was en-vogue and très chic to be part of the scene. Where else could one expect to be decadent without fear of consequence or conscience if not in gay Paris.
    Overall it was a decent read, which could have done with a little more structure. The left field entrance of Mr Grey felt like an add-on due to the main character being far too distracted to solve the actual crime. Harry could do with a little less whiskey and women and far more deductive reasoning.
    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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