**** The Pale Blue Eye By Louis Bayard The origins of "The Tell-Tale Heart"?
Edgar Allen Poe spent all of six months as a West Point cadet before being discharged for disobedience, but--as Louis Bayard imagines it--the Academy may have inspired some of Poe's fiction. In 1830, Gus Landor, a former New York City police detective (from Poe's real-life story "Landor's Cottage") enlists Poe, a student with two volumes of poetry under his belt and a fondness for drink, as a sidekick in his investigation of the death of a cadet who was found hanged--and missing his heart. Working together, the two men form a deep bond as they delve into a world of bloody rituals, satanic cults, and each other's darkest secrets. HarperCollins. 413 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 0060733977
Dallas Morning News ****
"Mr. Bayard has a gift for Poe mimicry and, as well, for constructing a labyrinthine plot.... It's a vibrant, throbbing, heart-wrenching read." TOM DODGE Denver Post ****
"The who- (and why-) dunit aspects propel a story that is full of delightfully unexpected twists that continue, to the very last pages of the novel, to take the reader by surprise." ROBIN VIDIMOS
Miami Herald ****
"Louis Bayard's clever The Pale Blue Eye is an exquisitely rendered character study, imaginatively Gothic, compelling even when its action stumbles into high camp.... Bayard wisely never acknowledges what he knows we're thinking--that one of Poe's future stories will betray what might be considered an unseemly interest in tell-tale hearts." CONNIE OGLE
NY Times Book Review ****
"Bayard's shockingly clever and devoutly unsentimental new mystery reads like a lost classic.... The regimented, gloomy world of West Point, with all its staring eyes and missing hearts, forms a perfectly plausible back story to the real-life Poe's penchant for tintinnabulation, morbidity...