Death In the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied France by David King - Book Review
This next book is similar to Book #5 in that it is also a little on the dark side. For some reason I am drawn to that genre--it must be the psychology/criminal justice nerd in me! This book, Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King, was a gift from my brother (who obviously knows me all too well) and it's been on my night stand since December! I usually get a whole bunch of books and then read them in the order that I got/bought them so I had quite a few books to get through before I got to this one. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait!
This book would be classified as "True Crime," which is one of my favorite genres. King tells the story of one of the most prolific serial killers in France's history, Dr. Marcel Petiot. Petiot was a brutal serial killer during the time of Nazi-occupied France in World War II. King takes you on a journey through the entire investigation right up until the execution of Petiot in 1946. This serial killer was one of the worst--he preyed on Jews who were desperate to escape France. He promised them safe passage to South America and instead killed them and profited from all of the belongings and money they left behind. Even worse (to the French people at the time), Petiot claimed he was working for the Resistance and that Germans planted those bodies. He claimed to be a decorated Resistant fighter and any people that he did "liquidate" were collaborators or Germans. This was far from the truth. The doctor was a deeply disturbed man with a long history of arson, fraud, and burglary as well.
The trial was not entirely fair and was a complete circus but I am glad that, in the end, justice was served. Petiot was executed by means of guillotine (a very popular method used in France since the 1700s) and laughed and smiled up until the blade dropped. His wife, Georgette, claimed until the day she died that her husband was innocent but was never able to prove it.
The book was definitely a page turner and I appreciated King's willingness to be completely thorough. I had never heard of Marcel Petiot until this case and I'm surprised since this was another atrocity committed against the Jews in Nazi-Occuppied Europe, and this time by a Frenchman. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in true stories and interested in the World War II era. Thank you to my brother for such a great find! :)
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