Duval and the Infernal Machine by Michele McGrath

I’ve just finished reading the first of the Duval novels and I will definitely be reading the others.

I’m a bit of a fan of historical fiction which makes me picky but I enjoyed this. The author has very skilfully woven the story of her fictional characters into known events of the time and I loved her descriptions of Napoleonic Paris and it’s inhabitants. She keeps the story moving and kept me interested enough to want to know the outcome.

I want to know more about Duval but I’m guessing that’s why this is a series. There is a huge amount of information in this first book and it would probably have been too much to go into more detail about Duval’s background and character. As a character I like him, but I’ve yet to hear his voice strongly, although in many ways that fits in with his ability to do the job and blend in with whichever group or class he is investigating – that aspect of his work would not suit a big, noisy personality. Duval is a quiet hero in many ways which is fairly unusual but works in this book.

I feel as though a huge amount of research went into the writing of this book, but I didn’t feel the detail was overdone to the point where it read like a textbook. The style was easy to read and I look forward to reading more from this author. Thoroughly enjoyable and worth reading.