I've talked about why my love of Paul Feval and Pretty Little Liars overlaps before. Now I feel compelled to talk about the possible archetypal connection between the PLL character of Detective Darren Wilden,(and maybe also Holbrock who is possibly being turned into a copy of Wilden now, but I shall here focus on Wilden) and Feval's Lecoq aka Toulonnias L'Amitie.
The Lecoq of The Blackcoats is like a corrupt cop though it can be complicated to explain why, the development of French law enforcement over the course of post Revolutionary history is a long story. Theoretically the organization Lecoq runs is like a Private Detective Agency, but so was the real Surette in it's origin.
Lecoq is among many characters of French literature partly inspired by Vidocq (or rather his embellished memoirs). Vidocq inspired both heroes and villains. laying the foundations of modern Detective fiction in more ways then one. Lecoq is the name of both a hero and a villain modeled after Vidocq. In many circles Gaboriau's heroic Lecoq is more well known, so people might have assumed that's who I meant here. Gaboriau's Lecoq is a prototype of Sherlock Homles so the PLL character I see as analogous to him would be Spencer Hastings.
Lecoq is also a creeper in a way that's arguably similar to Wilden. Feval's narrative voice at one point calls Lecoq a "Cassanova" in a way I feel must be meant to be ironic. From what we see women do not seem to enjoy his advances usually. He and Marguerite were lovers but they were mutually and knowingly using each other for power like Caesar and Cleopatra.
In Parsian Jungle much of the story largely happens because of Lecoq's obsession with Julie, Andre's wife, but she was completely uninterested. Fanchette also has a strong aversion to Lecoq, strictly speaking though there is nothing to indicate that ever came from him coming on to her.
As I look back on many Wilden scenes, I feel like I could definitely see Bryce Johnson playing Toulonnias. Just as I can see Vanessa Ray as Marguerite, besides Marguerite not being Blond.