- Robert Wilton
This book is quite a heavy read and mixes a fair bit fact with fiction. The fact comes from extracts of previously unpublished documents from various sources including the American Embassy and this in itself is rather interesting.
What I did find out rather early in this book/story is that for me the actual story was somewhat difficult to fathom out. I thought it lacked a clear path as to what and who was what and it seemed to me that the story was taking a rather long winded way to its destination rather than a more direct way.
The story featured several main players,Kinnaird, Greene, Madam Emma Lavalier, Rapheal Benjamin, Pinsent and Charles de Talleyrand and of course Fouche and Roland the Minister of the Interior.
Fouche who is a spy master in charge of the police and Roland's right hand man has a mission; that mission is to get his hands on documents that Louise has written, documents that would prove once and for all Louise is a traitor to France. He has searched high and low, do they even exist? Fouche is convinced they do.
The other characters are a mix of English and French. Are the English involved? Were they involved in the theft of The French Royal Jewels? Fouche is determined to get to the bottom of this.
To summarise this book I would say that as a story it failed to entertain and grip me, it was a somewhat confusing read and didn't do justice to the obvious work that the author put into this book. I don't think it quite made its mind up as to what it wanted to be and so it proved to be a bit of a struggle. Now this is not to detract from the good work and good writing that's gone into this lengthy piece of work so for me I would say that as a story it scores a two, out of five, however as a book which has immersed itself in the French Revolution I would give it a four. The characters were a mixed bunch and as I say I couldn't really get attached to them due to the drawn out and somewhat bumpy path the story took so overall I would give this book three and a half mushroom heads which is a shame as I would have thought that given the subject matter a much more fluid and riveting story could easily have been achieved.