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The Widow Lerouge   By: (1832-1873)

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The Widow Lerouge by Emile Gaboriau is a compelling crime novel that captivated me from beginning to end. Set in 19th-century France, the story follows the investigation of a mysterious murder that takes place in a small village.

One of the elements that stood out to me was Gaboriau's skillful portrayal of the characters. The protagonist, detective Lecoq, is a brilliant and dedicated investigator who is determined to uncover the truth behind the crime. His tenacity and attention to detail make him a fascinating character to follow throughout the narrative. Additionally, the supporting characters are well-developed and add layers to the story, making it feel even more intricate and believable.

The plot itself is intricately woven, filled with unexpected twists and turns. Gaboriau masterfully creates suspense, keeping the reader guessing until the very end. As Lecoq delves deeper into the case, he uncovers shocking secrets and uncanny connections that add complexity to the investigation. The pacing is just right, with the tension building gradually and culminating in a satisfying conclusion.

Another notable aspect of the novel is Gaboriau's rich description of the setting. The author's vivid descriptions transport the reader to 19th-century France, immersing them in the atmosphere of the era. From the quaint village to the bustling city of Paris, each location feels alive and essential to the narrative.

However, one aspect that could be improved upon is the occasional overly descriptive passages, which could slow down the pace of the story. While these descriptions add depth to the setting and characters, there were moments when they felt slightly excessive and unnecessary.

In conclusion, The Widow Lerouge is a compelling crime novel that offers a thrilling narrative, well-crafted characters, and a richly depicted setting. Gaboriau's writing style keeps the reader engaged from start to finish, making it a perfect choice for fans of detective fiction and historical mysteries. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an enthralling and satisfying read.

First Page:


By Emile Gaboriau


On Thursday, the 6th of March, 1862, two days after Shrove Tuesday, five women belonging to the village of La Jonchere presented themselves at the police station at Bougival.

They stated that for two days past no one had seen the Widow Lerouge, one of their neighbours, who lived by herself in an isolated cottage. They had several times knocked at the door, but all in vain. The window shutters as well as the door were closed; and it was impossible to obtain even a glimpse of the interior.

This silence, this sudden disappearance alarmed them. Apprehensive of a crime, or at least of an accident, they requested the interference of the police to satisfy their doubts by forcing the door and entering the house.

Bougival is a pleasant riverside village, peopled on Sundays by crowds of boating parties. Trifling offences are frequently heard of in its neighbourhood, but crimes are rare.

The commissary of police at first refused to listen to the women, but their importunities so fatigued him that he at length acceded to their request. He sent for the corporal of gendarmes, with two of his men, called into requisition the services of a locksmith, and, thus accompanied, followed the neighbours of the Widow Lerouge.

La Jonchere owes some celebrity to the inventor of the sliding railway, who for some years past has, with more enterprise than profit, made public trials of his system in the immediate neighbourhood... Continue reading book >>

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