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Download Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris Audiobook, by David King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,175 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David King Narrator: Paul Michael Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9780307967190
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Death in the City of Light is the gripping, true story of a brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-Occupied Paris. As decapitated heads and dismembered body parts surfaced in the Seine, Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu, head of the Brigade Criminelle, was tasked with tracking down the elusive murderer in a twilight world of Gestapo, gangsters, resistance fighters, pimps, prostitutes, spies, and other shadowy figures of the Parisian underworld.  

The main suspect was Dr. Marcel Petiot, a handsome, charming physician with remarkable charisma.  He was the “People’s Doctor,” known for his many acts of kindness and generosity, not least in providing free medical care for the poor.  Petiot, however, would soon be charged with twenty-seven murders, though authorities suspected the total was considerably higher, perhaps even as many as 150.

Who was being slaughtered, and why?  Was Petiot a sexual sadist, as the press suggested, killing for thrills?  Was he allied with the Gestapo, or, on the contrary, the French Resistance?  Or did he work for no one other than himself?  Trying to solve the many mysteries of the case, Massu would unravel a plot of unspeakable deviousness. 
When Petiot was finally arrested, the French police hoped for answers. 

But the trial soon became a circus.  Attempting to try all twenty-seven cases at once, the prosecution stumbled in its marathon cross-examinations, and Petiot, enjoying the spotlight, responded with astonishing ease.  His attorney, René Floriot, a rising star in the world of criminal defense, also effectively, if aggressively, countered the charges.  Soon, despite a team of prosecuting attorneys, dozens of witnesses, and over one ton of evidence, Petiot’s brilliance and wit threatened to win the day.

Drawing extensively on many new sources, including the massive, classified French police file on Dr. Petiot, Death in the City of Light is a brilliant evocation of Nazi-Occupied Paris and a harrowing exploration of murder, betrayal, and evil of staggering proportions.


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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcia | 2/15/2014

    " This book is an interesting blend of World War II history and true crime. It opens in 1944 in occupied Paris when a fire reveals a grotesque scene of burnt human remains in a rundown mansion. More bodies are discovered, grisly details of the crimes emerge, and the killer is revealed as a man using the hopes and dreams of people looking to escape the Nazis for his own gruesome profit. The picture of Paris in wartime is gritty and dark, and the author shows us how the crimes were very much a product of this setting. It raises important questions about who to believe amidst war. It's not a happy book by any means but it's certainly a fascinating one. Recommended for history buffs and true crime fans. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ang | 2/3/2014

    " Four stars if the bit about the trial wasn't so boring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 1/17/2014

    " While this had what was a very interesting story, it was not presented in a coherent, easily read manner. It was full of tedious details and was often confusing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carly | 1/13/2014

    " This book was fascinating and disturbing. I have read many books about serial killers and Marcel Petoit rivaled the worst of them. He took people's hope and thrived on it and manipulated it into something so evil. As with most serial killer stories, many questions can never be answered, but the evidence points to many things. Also shocking in this book to me was the way that French courtrooms are conducted. It is mad chaos and unclear how fair trials can ever be accomplished. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolina | 1/3/2014

    " Talk about evil... crazy read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 D. Ennis | 1/2/2014

    " Absolutely fantastic. Such a bizarre and creepy story. Could not put this down. The comparisons to Devil In The White City are valid but this story is much more engrossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra | 1/2/2014

    " At times a bit dry, but otherwise very intriguing and even suspenseful. I got so wrapped up in the outcome of the trial, this book became a page-turner for me. The author tries to present only the facts, but later does some speculation to try to explain unanswered questions. He seems to know his subject very will, and it is well-researched. Gruesome in spots, so not for the weak-stomached. If you are interested in serial killers, this is a must-read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginny | 12/28/2013

    " Interesting history wise but pretty gory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edward Sullivan | 12/4/2013

    " A fascinating chronicle of the investigation, capture, and trial of Dr. Marcel Petiot, a serial killer convicted of the gruesome murders 26 people in Nazi-occupied Paris and probably responsible for the murder of many, many more. A great true crime story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 9/9/2013

    " First reads book. I just started this book. So far it is very readable and I am enjoying the topic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fil | 2/21/2013

    " Interesting piece of history but the writing was off for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erica | 1/25/2013

    " This is not a very good "true crime" book, and it is an even worse "serial killer" book. The author is incapable of sticking to the story of Marcel Petiot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monica | 11/30/2012

    " Fascinating story of a true sociopath, but could have used better editing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Aprile | 7/6/2012

    " Thought it would be interesting but really there wasn't much of a story so the author wrote every detail of any character mentioned. Biggest conclusion is that police work sucked in France in the 1940s. Amazing that any criminals were incarcerated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 4/14/2012

    " Had a little too much detail as far as the court proceedings went, but still a very interesting story. Reminded me a bit of A Devil in the White City. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Davidinlv | 1/16/2012

    " "Tis strange; - but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction." -Lord Byron "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul Schnake | 1/1/2012

    " This was a good read. Not quite "Devil in the White City" but, still good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 11/3/2011

    " An interesting story of a serial killer in the midst of occupied Paris. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 11/2/2011

    " a great non fiction read for those interested in serial murderers. will leave you wondering how in the world this man got away with it for so long. The author lives in Lexington, Ky and used to teach at UK. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Clewis53 | 10/31/2011

    " Lots of slogging thru extraneous minutiae to follow the main story. Book had no point of view. Very dry indeed. Hard to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathryn | 10/28/2011

    " I was really interested in the story, but did not like the writing style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Don | 10/26/2011

    " Gets bogged down in the details a little, though the part about the strange French court system was interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 10/24/2011

    " Besides the interesting tale of the serial killer, Dr. Petiot, there is a lot of information about the cultural atmosphere of Nazi-occupied Paris in the early 1940s. A fascinating period of which I know little, even though I studied French in college. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Riv | 10/23/2011

    " Eh, so, a serial killer in Paris... against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation, this was small potatoes... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/15/2011

    " While I think the comparisons with Devil in the White City are well-founded, I think there is less atmosphere in this one. And there are a number of maddening questions left unanswered. But a fascinating read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Davidinlv | 10/14/2011

    " "Tis strange; - but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction." -Lord Byron "

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About the Author

David King is a Fulbright scholar with a master’s degree from Cambridge University, and the author of Finding Atlantis, which was a Main Selection of the Book of the Month Club and which has been translated into several languages. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife and daughter.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael is an Audie Award-winning narrator. He has acted on stage, radio, television, and in feature films in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States. He has had leading roles in series and made-for-television movies and has guest starred in such series as VIP and Alias. He has been nominated for a Canadian Emmy (or Nellie) and has recorded over 150 audiobooks, including the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, winning more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards.