"It's Christmas Eve in Paris in the year 1800, eight years after the execution of King Louis XVI and a year since First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte seized power. Amid a backdrop of political turmoil, all of the city's elite, including Bonaparte himself, are expected to attend the premiere of the year's most anticipated musical event at the Opera. But as his carriage approaches the theater, a massive bomb detonates on Rue Saint-Nicaise, narrowly missing Bonaparte but killing and maiming dozens of bystanders. Chief Inspector Roch Miquel, a young man with a bright future and a beautiful mistress, must find and arrest the assassins before the strike again. But in a city of almost a million...Roch's task is near impossible..."--Dust jacket flap.