Aimee is the victim of sabotage in a brutally competitive Paris medical school. She gets dumped for a girl with a better pedigree by her aristocratic boyfriend suddenly and unceremoniously. Although he would like one last weekend fling to satisfy his carnal needs.
Depressed over these events, Aimee eavesdrops on a conversation between her distant cousin and her father who is an ex-policeman and runs his own private detective agency. It seems that acquaintances of her cousin’s father are being murdered after seeing escorts in Paris far from their rural village. Why are these men rich and why execution style killings?
Seeking a diversion from her personal disasters, Aimee begins looking into the mysterious elderly men who somehow can afford expensive homes in Paris in addition to their countryside farms. While Aimee is conducting an off-the-books investigation, her father travels to Berlin at the time of the fall of the Berlin wall, apparently in search of secrets involving Aimee’s mother. As a policeman, he had once arrested Aimee’s mother during a left wing demonstration in Paris which led to romance, marriage and a daughter, whom the woman never saw again after Aimee turned eight.
In a flash back, Black tells the story of French farmers murdering German soldiers during the occupation in 1942. The truck the German’s were driving happened to have an astonishing large amount of pirated gold, apparently on its way to Portugal to pay for precious industrial metal.
With all of these balls being juggled, the reader stays hooked looking for a connection and a solution. As in all her books, Aimee is an attractive character, talented, fearless, willing to bend rules–the femme fatale.
For some readers Cara’s books carry a distraction–the characters, internal monologue, and much of their spoken dialogue is in French. Words range from alors to merde. I like the books because I enjoy working on my French. My author photo was taken from the top of the Arc de Triomph I spent three weeks there last summer after a Catholic pilgrimage in Italy. Contrary to reputation I always find the French, even Parisians polite and helpful, although my wife was told in a Normandy shop to, “buy something or get out.”
But if you love France and Paris in particular, Cara Black’s books take you into every arrondisement, through beautiful wide boulevards and narrow medieval streets. What better setting for mysteries than the City of Light? I met Cara at a seminar and she is as delightful to talk to as Aimee would be.
Speaking of foreign languages I must finish with an historical anecdote. Charles V of Spain ruled the Holy Roman Empire, a polyglot of different tongues. When asked which language he used, he responded, “I speak French at court, Italian to my mistress, Spanish to my servants, and German to my horse.”
Steve E. Clark is a best selling author as seen in the New York Times. He is author of the Kristen Kerry Novels Of Suspense series. You can pick up his first book Justice Is for the Lonely here, or ask for it at your local book store.
You can learn more about Steve Clark here. Steve is also an attorney at Clark+Mitchell in Oklahoma City.