Little Demon in the City of Light
A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris
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A delicious true crime account of a murder most gallic—think CSI Paris meets Georges Simenon—whose lurid combination of sex, brutality, forensics, and hypnotism riveted first a nation and then the world.
In 1889, the gruesome murder of a lascivious court official at the hands of a ruthless con man and his pliant mistress launched the trial of the century. When Toussaint-Augustin Gouffé entered 3, rue Tronson du Coudray, expecting a delightful assignation with the comely Gabrielle Bompard, he was instead murdered by Gabrielle and her lover, Michel Eyraud. An international manhunt chased the infamous couple from Paris to America’s West Coast, culminating in a sensational trial that investigated the power of hypnosis to possess, control, and even kill. As the inquiry into the guilt or innocence of the woman the French tabloids dubbed the “Little Demon” intensified, the most respected minds in France vehemently debated: Was Gabrielle Bompard the pawn of her mesmerizing lover or simply a coldly calculating murderess capable of killing a man in cold blood?
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
This is an amusing and intriguing crime story in turn of the century France with memorable characters. True crime beats fiction generally and the Belle Époque historical context helps complete the picture. Toss-up between 3 & 4 stars...EAF