The Pale Blue Eye (Paperback)

By Louis Bayard

Harper Perennial, 9780060733988, 412pp.

Publication Date: June 12, 2007



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.

Praise For The Pale Blue Eye

“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)

“(A) tour-de-force…intense and gripping …(a) beautifully crafted thriller ”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Ingenious...with a rich knowledge of Poe’s life and work.”
-Entertainment Weekly

“Seemlessly blends Poe into an engrossing whodunit worthy of its inspiration. ”
-USA Today

“Exquisitely rendered character study, imaginatively Gothic, compelling.”
-Miami Herald

“Gracefully written...Bayard’s prose flows like silk, weightless but enveloping, and never shows its seams.

“Bayard has produced a nuanced, wonderfully written tale, one worthy of the old master himself.”
-Baltimore Sun

“An uncanny and original portrait. Captures the imagination with exquisite details and a compelling, disquieting story.”
-Denver Rocky Mountain News

“Gruesomely entertaining.”
-New York Times

“Full of delightfully unexpected twists that continue to the very last pages of the novel.”
-Denver Post

“Brilliantly plotted and completely absorbing, ending with the kind of shock that few novelists are able to deliver.”
-Sunday Times (London)

“What makes this more than a well-crafted thriller…is Bayard’s gift for language. He paints incredibly vivid pictures.”
-Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Poe, an exacting critic...would have been impressed by Bayard’s intelligence and fluidity as a writer.”

“A superb, lyrically written yarn. Deft and delicious.”
-Providence Journal

“Well-wrought and suspenseful.“
-Buffalo News

“Finely executed prose…An exquisitely rendered character study, imaginatively gothic, compelling.”
-Memphis Commercial Appeal

“Skillful...lyrical...Moves methodically to the suspects, the motives, and the clues that twist and turn like the Hudson itself.”
-Library Journal

“Worthy of...high praise.”

“This book has it all--prose, plot and a terrifying will have you guessing to the very end.”
-Hamilton Spectator (Canada)

“A rich and finely wrought psychological study that is a fitting tribute to Poe himself.”
-The Straits Times (Singapore)

“Recommended. This novel is moody and rich in historic detail.”
-Tucson Citizen