“Shockingly clever and devoutly unsentimental...reads like a lost classic. Bayard reinvigorates historical fiction.”- New York Times Book Review
An ingenious tale of murder and revenge at West Point, featuring a retired detective and a young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe--from the author of Courting Mr. Lincoln.
At West Point Academy in 1830, the calm of an October evening is shattered by the discovery of a young cadet's body swinging from a rope. The next morning, an even greater horror comes to light. Someone has removed the dead man's heart. Augustus Landor—who acquired some renown in his years as a New York City police detective—is called in to discreetly investigate. It's a baffling case Landor must pursue in secret, for the scandal could do irreparable damage to the fledgling institution. But he finds help from an unexpected ally—a moody, young cadet with a penchant for drink, two volumes of poetry to his name, and a murky past that changes from telling to telling. The strange and haunted Southern poet for whom Landor develops a fatherly affection, is named Edgar Allan Poe.
About the Author
A writer, book reviewer, and the author of Mr. Timothy and The Pale Blue Eye, Louis Bayard has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Salon.com, among other media outlets. He lives in Washington, D.C.
“Shockingly clever and devoutly unsentimental...reads like a lost classic. Bayard reinvigorates historical fiction.” — New York Times Book Review
“Another literary tour de force.…At novel’s end, the reader may want to start again from the beginning.” — Kirkus Reviews (Starred)