By: Bob Van Laerhoven
During a very chaotic time in France’s history, when the Prussians are on their doorstep and revolution threatens to arise within, a mysterious string of murders is committed by a ghostly killer. In what is akin to the French version of a Sherlock Holmes tale, Baudelaire’s Revenge is a whirlwind of criminal investigation, period history and rich, juicy details. Commissioner Lefevre and his partner Bouveroux must search through the city’s underbelly, through the true criminals and those people who are just trying to survive, to find the twisted murderer who appears to be taking out those people who criticized the poet Charles Baudelaire. Some think it is the work of a ghost, and some a lover or friend of the poet, but most do not quite know what to think as the detectives set about their search. Hints of magic, of trickery and of early science make this killer theatrical and intriguing. The character of Lefevre who seeks solace and comfort in the arms of France’s many coquettes, while he tries to forget the ghost of his past adds yet more color to this novel. Baudelaire’s Revenge is packed full of delicious detail and is a multilayered historical crime drama that will weave you through the streets of Paris on the tails of a dangerous and twisted criminal, who turns out to be a very unlikely character.
In reading Bob Van Laerhoven’s Baudelaire’s Revenge you feel as though you are caught up in a whirlwind. The energy of the monumental historical events such as the Franco-Prussian War and this potential rebellion, combined with the sinister murders of critics or punishers of the poet Baudelaire make charge this book excitement and intrigue. It was an enjoyable read with a hint of science, of passion and acts that will make your cheeks blush, and the thrill of danger. I was not quite sure what to expect when I first picked up Baudelaire’s Revenge other than that it was an intense and theatrical historical crime drama. Reading the book, I found that it is all of that and so much more. This is a book you can lose yourself in and get wrapped up in the fast moving and ever winding story. Bob Van Laerhoven had put together an interesting and refreshing novel with a sinister and methodical killer, a band of accomplices and an up to the task yet slightly flawed hero. I’d say that Baudelaire’s Revenge lives on my shelves somewhere between my collection of Sherlock Holmes tales and my copy of The Phantom of the Opera.