Little Demon in the City of Light – Overview

Little Demon in the City of Light is an intriguing book written by Steven Levingston. This captivating work of non-fiction explores the true story of a scandalous crime that captivated Paris in the late 19th century. With its compelling narrative and meticulous attention to detail, the book offers readers a riveting account of the shocking murder and subsequent investigation that unfolded in the heart of the City of Light.

The Story

In the late 1800s, Paris was a city filled with artists, writers, and intellectuals. However, beneath the glamorous facade, there were dark secrets lurking. Little Demon in the City of Light revolves around the murder of an affluent and influential lawyer named Gouffé. The crime took place in his luxurious apartment on the Rue Montaigne, sending shockwaves through the elite circles of Parisian society.

The investigation that followed was anything but ordinary. Levingston masterfully reconstructs the events, providing a vivid and immersive experience for the readers. Through his meticulous research and skilled storytelling, he introduces us to the key characters involved in the murder and portrays the era’s societal complexities and tensions.

Recognition and Acclaim

Since its publication, Little Demon in the City of Light has garnered widespread critical acclaim and numerous accolades. The book has been praised for its meticulous research, captivating prose, and ability to transport readers to the heart of 19th-century Paris. It was a New York Times bestseller and received high praise from reputable sources such as The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Award: Washington Post Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

In 2014, Little Demon in the City of Light was awarded the prestigious honor of being named the Washington Post’s Best Nonfiction Book of the Year. This recognition further solidified its reputation as a gripping and masterfully crafted work of historical true crime.

Critical Acclaim

Critics from various publications have hailed the book as a captivating and engrossing read. The Wall Street Journal praised Levingston’s ability to bring the past to life, while The Washington Post commended his meticulous attention to detail. The book’s ability to transport readers to 19th-century Paris and immerse them in the scandalous events of the era has been widely praised.

Key Characters

Little Demon in the City of Light introduces readers to several key characters involved in the murder and subsequent investigation. Some of these notable individuals include:

1. Gouffé (Victim)

Gouffé, an influential lawyer, was the unfortunate victim of the mysterious murder that forms the crux of this gripping narrative. His murder sets off a chain of events that unravels the dark underbelly of Parisian society during the late 19th century.

2. Madame de Pau (Accused)

Madame de Pau, a woman of charm and intelligence, finds herself at the center of the murder investigation. Accused of being the mastermind behind the crime, her character and motivations are carefully examined throughout the book, leaving readers with a sense of intrigue and fascination.

3. Chief Inspector Goron (Investigator)

Chief Inspector Goron is the tenacious investigator assigned to unravel the complexities surrounding Gouffé’s murder. His relentless pursuit of justice against all odds adds an element of suspense and thrill to the narrative.

4. Marguerite (Witness)

Marguerite, a captivating and enigmatic witness, plays a crucial role in providing insights and unraveling the truth. Her presence in the story adds depth and complexity to the investigation, leaving readers guessing until the very end.

These are just a few of the captivating characters you’ll encounter in Little Demon in the City of Light. Their intertwined lives and the secrets they hold contribute to the book’s allure and make it a must-read for fans of historical true crime and those interested in unearthing the hidden stories of the past.


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