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Within an Inch of His Life   By: (1832-1873)

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Within an Inch of His Life by Emile Gaboriau is a thrilling and suspenseful novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. Set in a small town in France during the 19th century, the plot follows the downfalls of Count Claudieuse, a prominent figure in the region, whose life takes an unexpected turn.

The book presents a complex web of intrigue and mystery, as Count Claudieuse is accused of attempted murder, resulting in his arrest and subsequent trial. Gaboriau expertly weaves together a tale filled with unexpected twists and turns, making it nearly impossible to predict the outcome as the story unfolds.

The characters in the book are well-developed and multi-faceted, each with their own motives and secrets. From Count Claudieuse himself, whose true intentions are shrouded in mystery, to the relentless investigating magistrate, M. Lacheneur, every character is carefully crafted to add depth and complexity to the narrative.

One of the standout features of the novel is Gaboriau's ability to depict the small town setting in such vivid detail. Whether describing the narrow streets, the dimly lit taverns, or the lush countryside, the author transports the reader to the heart of France during this time period. This attention to detail adds authenticity to the story and further immerses the reader in the world Gaboriau has created.

Furthermore, the pacing of the book is impeccable. Gaboriau effortlessly balances intense courtroom drama with intimate character moments, keeping the reader engrossed and invested in the outcome. The suspense builds steadily throughout the narrative, creating a sense of urgency and tension that is hard to resist.

While some may find the book's historical context and legal jargon daunting, Gaboriau's clear and concise writing style ensures that readers of all backgrounds can easily follow the story. The author's meticulous research and knowledge of the legal system of the time shine through, adding another layer of authenticity to the narrative.

In conclusion, Within an Inch of His Life is a masterfully crafted novel that seamlessly combines mystery, suspense, and historical detail. Emile Gaboriau's skillful storytelling, well-rounded characters, and immersive setting make this book a must-read for fans of the genre. Prepare to be captivated by this thrilling tale of deception, justice, and the complexities of human nature.

First Page:


by Emile Gaboriau


This text was prepared from a 1913 edition, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.


These were the facts:


In the night from the 22nd to the 23rd of June, 1871, towards one o'clock in the morning, the Paris suburb of Sauveterre, the principal and most densely populated suburb of that pretty town, was startled by the furious gallop of a horse on its ill paved streets.

A number of peaceful citizens rushed to the windows.

The dark night allowed these only to see a peasant in his shirt sleeves, and bareheaded, who belabored a large gray mare, on which he rode bareback, with his heels and a huge stick.

This man, after having passed the suburbs, turned into National Street, formerly Imperial Street, crossed New Market Square, and stopped at last before the fine house which stands at the corner of Castle Street.

This was the house of the mayor of Sauveterre, M. Seneschal, a former lawyer, and now a member of the general council.

Having alighted, the peasant seized the bell knob, and began to ring so furiously, that, in a few moments, the whole house was in an uproar.

A minute later, a big, stout servant man, his eyes heavy with sleep, came and opened the door, and then cried out in an angry voice,

"Who are you, my man? What do you want? Have you taken too much wine? Don't you know at whose house you are making such a row?"

"I wish to see the mayor," replied the peasant instantly... Continue reading book >>

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