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by David Crane
About this Book
The French Revolution has left its mark on young Eugene Francois Vidocq. A thief, troublemaker, adventurer, and duelist, Vidocq narrowly avoids the dreaded guillotine. Shortly thereafter, he saves three innocent lives but is forced to flee for his life.
A soldier in the Revolutionary Army and later a prisoner of war, he returns to France. Pursued by the police agents of the corrupt Directory, Vidocq uses his formidable fighting and survival skills to outrun and outwit his enemies.
When Napoleon becomes First Consul, Vidocq seizes his chance to gain absolution from his sins by becoming an outlaw hunting the outlaws, a police agent, and a master spy.
About the Author
Crane was born in the Ukraine, which was then a part of the Soviet Union, a country that no longer exists. At the age of sixteen, he immigrated to the United States with his family to seek a better life.
After earning his bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design, his love of writing emerged. He continues to do so in New York City.
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David Crane's historical novel, Swordpoint, transports the reader to late 18th-century France, a country gripped with the chaos, blood, and terror of the French Revolution. The novel will entertain you with its realistic settings, interesting historical references, passionate love affairs, duels, battles, betrayals, and narrow escapes.
The protagonist is a young Frenchman, Eugene Francois Vidocq. Known as a troublemaker in his native town of Arras, Eugene Vidocq seeks fortune and glory by trying to reach distant America. He plans to return as a man of wealth and respect and marry the young woman he loves. Vidocq fails in his mission and returns to his native town penniless but unbroken.
After barely escaping the guillotine for assaulting a military officer trying to court his sweetheart, Vidocq is marked for death after he saves three young female aristocrats from humiliation and murder at the hands of revolutionary soldiers. Assisted by a sympathetic priest, he manages to find refuge in the army. Surviving the carnage of battle, he ends up as a prisoner of the Austrians, pretending to be a Belgian forced into the French Army under the threat of death.
But in serving his new masters, Vidocq refuses to spill the blood of his fellow Frenchmen for the Austrian crown. Escaping again into France, he ends up as a companion to a traveling charlatan and a smuggler, who recognizes his talents and asks him to join a successful smuggler crew. In need of money and new skills, Vidocq accepts the proposal. Hardening his body and sharpening his mind in sea adventures and a near fatal encounter with pirates, he finds himself a target of the revolutionary police agents and zealous gendarmes. Betrayed and imprisoned, Vidocq escapes and soon becomes one of the most dangerous fugitives in France. When Napoleon comes to power, Vidocq sees his chance at redemptionhe becomes an outlaw hunting the outlaws in the name of justice.
For anyone interested in the past, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era will present a fascinating tapestry of political and cultural events that shaped our modern society.
Swordpoint was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered through local bookstores and at ForemostPress.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.
334 pp, $16.97