Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell for sending me this advance review copy via NetGalley!
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Price: $26.00 USD (Hardcover)
Goodreads Book Blurb: Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator’s dream—he’s getting paid to troll the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.
As Stuyvesant follows Philippa’s trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous—and infamous—inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company’s Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.
Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artistic coup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris.
My Opinion: I loved King’s first installment in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. So when this came across my NetGalley dash, I had to have it. I was really disappointed when I found out right before diving in that it was the second book in a series.
Normally that would be it for me, I would not have read it. But I did something I never do. I read the second book first. I feel like there were some things that I missed out on from the first book, as the characters weren’t showing as much growth as I would like. I would hope that would be a product of this being a second book, and being a fan of King’s I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
The Bones of Paris was a really enjoyable read for me. There was so much misdirection that I found myself going in circles with the “whodunnit” aspect of the story. Nothing was predictable, which was great. And oh man, can King write some creepy things.
One thing I didn’t like about The Bones of Paris was that I felt at times it was “Look! Famous people! Art! Things!” and all the name-dropping (for lack of a better term) was a little much. I think it would have been more effective if there had been one or two big names central to the story and then maybe one in the background, instead of the plethora there was.
One other thing for me was timeline. At times, it seemed like weeks had passed and it had only been a day. This was slightly confusing for me, as a reader.
Bottom Line: If you have ever read one of Laurie R. King’s other books and enjoyed it, I am willing to bet you will enjoy this one, too. If you haven’t read anything by Laurie R. King… what are you waiting for?? Though, I would recommend checking out Touchstone before reading this one. Just for continuity’s sake. You have a few days before The Bones of Paris hits shelves.