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Bitter Draughts

Bitter Draughts by Yves Fey is book two of the trilogy, The Paris Trilogy, a historical fiction that is quite promising. Paris, France 1898, amidst the Dreyfus affair. Detective Michel Devaux is set to investigate a series of violent crimes occurring all around Paris, seemingly connected to the explosion of hatred and bigotry devouring the city. Of course, Michel has to consider the most probable cause behind these mysterious crimes: the political one, but his expertise will lead him to consider many other possibilities. With diverse characters and an intricate storyline, this book delves into the political climate of France between 1894 and 1906, giving an enjoyable history lesson with many turns and twists.

From the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised by the book. The plot, the characters, the ambiance, the many details… I was simply amazed at how masterfully crafted everything was. On many occasions, while reading, I couldn’t help but be immediately reminded of Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevski. It was that good. The writing style, the story’s pacing, and the various perspectives from different characters presented a carefully and meticulously thought narrative. Because of this, the author created a story based on reality that was tense, mysterious, and compelling.

Each new chapter was as interesting as the previous one. Every unique point of view allowed the reader to see so many unexpected story details from a completely different angle. The plot, including mystery, history, art, and romance, was incredibly well balanced. While reading, one immediately feels immersed in the story, and the epoch described, aided by how the characters speak and conduct themselves, their interests, and their lifestyles. As the story develops, the attachment to the characters inevitably grows, and one gets to see how complex and unexpected they can turn out to be. Like in real life, severe political themes are explored, and the various characters react to them in entirely different ways, making up for a well-rounded description of the period in which the book takes place. By the end, one gets the sense of having read an excellent story that will be worth a few re-reads in the future.

Bitter Draughts by Yves Fey is a hard book to put down. This was a fantastic read that I highly recommend to readers of historical fiction and classic literature. Well thought out and with unexpected beauty and charm, this book made for a gratifying read.

Pages: 407 | ASIN : B09WG99X71

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