Tuesday, September 20, 2016

{Blog Tour} The Madonna of Notre Dame - Alexis Ragougneau (Review & Giveaway)

Alexis Ragougneau

The Madonna of Notre Dame
on Tour September 12-21 with

The Madonna of Notre Dame

 Release date: October 11, 2016 at New Vessel Press  
ISBN: 978-1-939931-39-3 210 pages  


Fifty thousand believers and photo-hungry tourists jam into Notre Dame Cathedral on August 15 to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. The next morning, a stunningly beautiful young woman clothed all in white kneels at prayer in a cathedral side chapel. But when an American tourist accidentally bumps against her, her body collapses. She has been murdered: the autopsy reveals disturbing details. Police investigators and priests search for the killer as they discover other truths about guilt and redemption in this soaring Paris refuge for the lost, the damned, and the saved. The suspect is a disturbed young man obsessed with the Virgin Mary who spends his days hallucinating in front of a Madonna. But someone else knows the true killer of the white-clad daughter of Algerian immigrants. This thrilling novel illuminates shadowy corners of the world’s most famous cathedral, shedding light on good and evil with suspense, compassion and wry humor. 


This book tells the story about a murder that occurred at Notre Dame the day after the Feast of the Assumption.  A young woman was discovered dead in the cathedral passageway, she had been previously seen the day before at the church and near the procession.   The young women was dressed inappropriately for church, but no one said anything to her because they were overlooking inappropriately dressed women nowadays they were more worried about shirtless people or attacks.

The ending of this book is AMAZING! It really tied everything up nicely and kept me on the edge of my toes right up until the end.  What is revealed is worth reading the entire book!

The story is told through multiple points of view up until the end of the book.  We get to hear from a priest who was there that day Father Kern, the lead investigator, and also the prosecutor of the case.   Each has their own agendas and thoughts about the case.   Father Kern is the one who just couldn’t believe that the young man they suspected of the murder could have possibly done it and starts to work on figuring out who really did it.  The case eventually gets dropped by the prosecution when the lead suspect dies.

I loved the character development that the author was able to achieve throughout the book.  I loved Father Kern as a character.  The author did a great job creating a backstory for Father Kern as well as showing that he can have flaws as a priest.  The disease that Father Kern has was also very interesting to learn about and helped build him up in my eyes as more of a loner and someone who might not have had a lot of friends in the past to confide in making it hard for him to truly trust anyone.   I also liked the man who gave Father Kern some helpful tips and also saved his life.  He was a complete side character, but in my mind changed pivotal points of the story.

The author did an amazing job creating suspense within the book.  From the first suspect that they choice I wasn’t sure it was him and I was already leaning towards Father Kern’s opinion and felt like he couldn’t have done it, but then who.  The author did a great job circling back to the keys being left unattended and also timing of the events so it left a lot of people who could have been involved.   Also, I wasn’t sure where the lead detective’s loyalties where, because he just didn’t seem interested or was he more interested and not showing it.  I had a lot of questions.

I really enjoyed how the author created the chapters out of days of the week.  It really helped to put a timeframe on the events occurring.  It also showed how quickly this whole situation was resolved.  

One thing I didn’t love was the one side story that was being told throughout the book about the army gentleman.   I am not 100% sure if I missed the connection, but I didn’t really feel like that helped the story being told.  I felt more like that was a story within itself and hard to make a connection with.

I would suggest this book as a weekend or beach read.  It has a lot of action and brings up a lot of questions so it was hard to put down.  I wanted to know what was going to happen in the end.  The ending of the book is really good it keeps you on your toes the whole time.   

I received a copy of this book from France Book Tours for the purpose of providing an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book.

My Rating: 4/5


Alexis Ragougneau Alexis Ragougneau is a playwright and The Madonna of Notre Dame is his first novel. He has worked in Notre Dame Cathedral helping monitor tourist crowds and knows well its infinite secrets and the forgotten souls who linger in its darkest corners.
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You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

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Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open to US residents: 1 winner will receive a copy of this book  



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  1. Sounds like a good read. Nice review.

  2. thanks for your very nice review. glad you enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the end very much. Emma at FBT

    1. Thank you for stopping by! It was a great ending!

  3. Love when an ending is amazing and makes a book! Great review!


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