The Bones of Paris (2013)

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bonesStuyvesant managed to get his feet to the carpet, waiting out the secondary explosion inside his skull before he rose to stumble a path through discarded clothing to the corner basin. The water was disgustingly warm, but he drank a glass anyway, then bent to let the tap splash over his face and hair. He wrestled with the aspirin bottle for an hour or so, palmed three pills and washed them down with a second glass, then reached out to part the curtains a fraction.

A dizzying panorama of rooftops: tiles and tin, brick and timber, steeples and drying laundry; centuries of chimneypots, with a narrow slice of stone magnificence in the distance. Children’s voices and taxi horns competed with a tram rattle from the rue de Rennes and a neighbor’s accordion, mournfully wading through a lively tune. His nose filled with the pervasive stink of an unemptied septic tank.

Read an excerpt of the Bones of Paris.


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Watch Laurie discuss The Bones of Paris at Poisoned Pen Bookstore


What They Say

Fans of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris will feel right at home in the Jazz Age Paris setting, though many of the famous Lost Generation figures are portrayed in a much less flattering light here, (artist Man Ray, in particular, is a misogynist and murder suspect). The story is complex, more than a little kinky, and absolutely fascinating.  The missing girl Harris seeks turns out to be only one of many missing persons who came into the orbit of a group of offbeat Parisian artists whose credo demands that art be visceral.  Could the infamous Moreau, who creates tableaux using human bones to suggest the corruption of the flesh be somehow connected to the missing young people? Harris noses about through familiar Left Bank haunts, encountering the era’s usual suspects (Hemingway, Sylvia Beach, Cole Porter, and Josephine Baker, among them), but beyond the cameos and the bohemian atmosphere, there is a compelling thriller here and some fascinating fictional characters to go with the real-life ones.  As always with King, the plot is tricky but marvelously constructed, delivering twists that not only surprise but also deepen the story and its multiple levels of meaning.  Break out that dusty bottle of absinthe you have stored away and settle in for a treat.   (Booklist, starred review)


Links

map of Harris Stuyvesant’s Paris

See what Laurie has to say about writing Bones of Paris on her blog.

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