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Murder and Intrigue in the French Republic - an Editorial Review of "Louis Mie and the Trial of Hautefaye"

Book Blurb:

In the birth of a new French Republic, a man must risk his honor, his marriage and even his life in a battle between his ideals and his ambition.

France, 1870. A frenzied mob brutally murders a man they believe to be a Prussian spy and a threat to the cult of Emperor Napoleon III. Louis Mie, a republican lawyer, finds himself entangled in a web of political intrigue and moral dilemmas when he is tasked with defending one of the murderers: a political show trial that could send his career to new heights.

But as Louis delves deeper into the high-profile case, he quickly realizes that defending the enigmatic Leonard Piarrouty is far more complex than he ever imagined. And now his entire life is about to fall apart as his obsession with his work takes his strained marriage to the brink of collapse.

In a gripping race against time, Louis must confront the blurred lines between justice, loyalty, and the pursuit of power, risking everything to unearth the truth: secrets that ruthless men will kill to protect.

Will Louis be able to save his client… or his own family?

This evocative historical novel, based on true events, holds the answers…

Book Buy Link:

Author Bio:

L.M. Twist is a lawyer and debut novelist. She lives in San Diego with her husband, son and one demanding cat.

Editorial Review:

The book "Louis Mie and the Trial of Hautefaye" takes us back to August 16, 1870, in

Hautefaye, France, in a setting marked by a stifling atmosphere and extreme drought. The

author, L. M. Twist, intricately describes rural life and the events that led to an apparently

unexpected tragedy.

The beginning of the book shocks readers with a vivid scene: villagers attending the market

in Hautefaye end up torturing and killing a neighbor. With vivid language, Twist paints the

arid landscape, suffocating heat, and tense atmosphere during the events.

The protagonist, Louis, finds himself in the midst of a rural tragedy, with the story exploring

relationships and interactions. Louis, a lawyer and husband, is engrossed in the law,

distancing himself from his wife, Anne. Intense dialogues and political speeches add an

extra dimension, highlighting the social and political changes in France.

"Louis Mie and the Trial of Hautefaye" reveals rural life with personal intrigues and dramas,

showcasing the challenges faced by lawyer Louis in a complex trial. Author L. M. Twist

explores reactions in Périgueux to the tragedy at Hautefaye, while Leonard Piarrouty

provides his perspective on life in the historical context of the Franco-Prussian War and

post-Napoleonic changes. The tense atmosphere of the trial on December 14, 1870, and

elements of mystery and personal conflicts among characters add narrative complexity,

captivating readers through enigma and drama.

The intervention of Louis's old friend Vincent de Barrère and the details of Judge Mistral's

funerals introduce an element of ambiguity, while subtle dialogues between Louis and Anne

add complexity to their relationship. Overall, "Louis Mie and the Trial of Hautefaye" explores

not only legal and political aspects but also human drama in the face of adversity, captivating

readers with the tension and enigma created by the author.

The strained relationship between Louis and Anne is highlighted when she rejects his hand,

emphasizing the distance and cold reception between them. The author subtly adds

complexities to Louis's personal life, providing depth and nuance to the character.

They set off walking together up the street to the cemetery entrance. He offered her his

arm, but she refused. [...] Any excuse to see his wife and daughter. He needed to talk to her,

at least to see her and gauge how she was doing. She had never been this distant with him

in the eighteen years he had known her. He gave his daughter a warm smile and slowed his

pace so she could keep up.”

The author presents a melancholic perspective on the changes in the life of the character

Louis, evoking the past through memories of Vincent de Barrère. Louis's questions about

Vincent's destiny and the changes in their lives explore complex themes of fate and defining


The introduction of secondary characters adds diversity and humor to the story. The humorous dialogues and chemistry between Louis and Anne bring freshness and authenticity, contrasting with the tension in the courtroom. The author explores the emotional complexity of the characters, highlighting Anne's inner dilemmas and Louis's struggle between duty and repairing his marriage. The tense relationship between the two captivates readers with captivating nuances.

In the context of the tense atmosphere of the trial, the author addresses social and political

confrontations, highlighting the complexity of events. Intelligent dialogues and careful scene

construction contribute to an authentic framework for the story. Louis Mie, the protagonist,

maintains dignity amidst tumultuous events, exploring essential aspects of Alain de Monéys'

death and political changes. His subtle arguments bring to light the political subtext of

events, illustrating the complexity of the time.

Anne has her own internal struggles. Her attempt to find balance between love and

responsibility, between past and present, adds depth to the narrative. The author adeptly

captures the complexity of the relationship between Louis and Anne, highlighting emotional

nuances and profound dilemmas.

At the peak of the trial, the author constructs an emotional and compelling plea through the

character of Louis Mie. Before the jury, he discusses the theme of power, whether political or

religious, and analyzes how authority was compromised in the tragic event at Hautefaye.

Louis's plea focuses on the inaction of those in power at that crucial moment, demonstrating

how this lack of authority fueled the crowd's anger and led to tragedy.

I know that the work of this type of person, or people, was part of that day, August 16 in

Hautefaye. I know that my client had a role in this miserable, tragic affair, but I also know he

was but another resource in a horrible machine that others operated. That he was made to

play his part like a puppet, having succumbed to his grief as his blind guide. “But are we not

moving forward, all of us? The great effort of the September 4 revolution and a new

republic? What is all of this if not our common effort towards a system of peace, justice, and

love, so that we might erase this type of person and idea? We have just had a revolution,

barely three months ago, and not a drop of blood spilled in the transition of power! For the

first time in our history, freedom came to us without violence!”

Using powerful language and well-articulated arguments, the author masterfully captures the

social and political disorder of the time, highlighting crucial aspects of the situation. The plea

is supported by introspection into human nature, emphasizing the duality between good and

evil, with Louis Mie becoming the voice raising profound moral questions.

At a pivotal moment, Louis Mie underscores the role of the jury in setting an example,

contributing to the formation of a society based on justice and forgiveness. With words

resonating with eloquence and passion, he concludes the plea, leaving the verdict in the

hands of the jurors, expressing confidence in their justice and goodness.

Louis rested his hand on the wooden rail of the jury box. He took a breath. What more to

say to them? He had tried his best. “Gentlemen of the jury, I leave it to you. I know you will

be just because you are good. Above all, you must search for truth everywhere and for

justice always.”

This part of the story adds a strong note of tension and drama, providing readers with an

opportunity to reflect on the moral and social complexity amid a tumultuous historical

moment. As the verdict approaches, tension escalates, and the narrative continues to

captivate, bringing to the forefront not only the characters but also the society in which they

evolve. The powerful imagery created around Louis' internal conflict underscores the narrative

strength of the story.

As the main character confronts his own conscience and moral values are put to the test, the

reader is invited to reflect on the complexity of the political world and justice. Tense

dialogues and difficult decisions add narrative depth, transforming the review into a

captivating exploration of ethical and political conflicts.

Later, Louis's encounter with Léon Gambetta reveals the intricate dynamics of politics and

power, shedding light on rivalries and alliances in this turbulent context. His attempt to

influence Gambetta's decision through the personal delivery of a letter adds a personal and

dramatic touch, emphasizing the character's desperation in the face of rapidly unfolding


In the conclusion of this complex story, the author deepens the analysis of Louis Mie, the

central character. Louis faces varied challenges, from the struggle for justice in the

courtroom to involvement in political turmoil. His return home offers a strong contrast to the

legal and political dramas, highlighting another facet of his life. The unfortunate events in prison highlight the moral dilemmas and challenges in a politically corrupt and justice-tainted world. Intense dialogues and exchanges with other characters add complexity, revealing Louis's inner conflict and the political tensions of that tumultuous period.

Lastly, the conclusion offers a subtle and reflective resolution, highlighting the character's changes and leaving open questions related to morality and justice. The author's careful approach to themes such as politics, morality, and personal sacrifice contributes to the construction of a captivating narrative.


“Louis Mie and the Trial of Hautefaye” by L M Twist receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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