Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Black Tower

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The Black Tower

by Louis Bayard

The Black Tower
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 368 pages
    Oct 2009, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Beyond the Book

The Vidocq Society
"Legend has it that if you give Vidocq two or three of the details surrounding a given crime, he will give you back the man who did it---before you've had time to blink. More than that, he'll describe the man for you, give you his most recent address, name all his known conspirators, tell you his favorite cheese. So compendious is his memory that a full half of Paris imagines him to be omniscient and wonders if his powers weren't given him by Satan." - Hector Carpentier speaking in The Black Tower.

What red-blooded criminal investigator wouldn't want to be just like the legendary Vidocq? Count former FBI agent Bill Fleisher, co-founder of the Philadelphia-based Vidocq Society among the Frenchman's admirers.

"When I was a Philadelphia policeman I saw Vidocq's name in one of the books we had to read. He intrigued me," said Fleisher from his Philly office recently, "I had a feel for this man." As Fleisher learned more about the French ...

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