Recent Events

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

‘Murder on the Left Bank’ by Cara Black

Published by Soho Press. Inc,
9 May 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-64129-026-5 (PB)

The story is set in Paris in September 1999 and opens when lawyer Éric Besson is visited without warning by Monsieur Solomon, a very old and very ill man. Solomon entrusts Besson with a notebook that he has kept since the 1950s, which itemises all the details of money laundering by corrupt police officers that Solomon has helped with his accountancy skills. Solomon insists that the notebook is taken to the authorities straight away and Besson sends his eighteen-year-old nephew, Marcus to do the job. Instead of going straight to complete his mission, Marcus stops off to spend time in a cheap hotel with his girlfriend, Karine. Two days later, Marcus is found, dead, and Karine and the notebook have disappeared. The police say that Marcus’ death was a drug deal gone wrong but Besson does not believe this and turns to Private Investigator Aimée Leduc to discover the truth, locate Karine and recover the notebook.

Since becoming a single mother to ten-month-old Chloé, Aimée has attempted to stick to cyber security work and not undertake dangerous investigations, but this case strikes very close to home. It is a continuation of a case she worked some years before, when she had exposed the Hand, a ‘deep-rooted protection racket run between police and government ministries’. Aimée had thought she had destroyed the Hand, but now it seems that it has changed shape and gained power again. Aimée knows that she has been a target of enmity for corrupt cops ever since she exposed them, and even honest police officers blame her for breaking the solidarity of the brotherhood of officers. Even worse, Aimée has never known how deeply her dead police officer father had been involved with the Hand, and it seems his name is in Solomon’s notebook. Despite the danger, Aimée has to take this case.

Aimée’s investigation takes her and her PI partner René into danger and deception, and the death toll mounts as they pursue the case. Aimée has many good friends to turn to for help but, with corruption and deception rife amongst the police and government officials, it is impossible to know who to trust. Soon Aimée finds that she has done the one thing she had sworn not to do and placed her own life in such danger it seems probable that little Chloé will be left without her maman.

Murder on the Left Bank is the eighteenth book featuring Aimée Leduc. It is a fast-paced book with an intriguing and complex plot and a fascinating protagonist, both chic and practical as she juggles the complex demands of a demanding job and motherhood. Surrounding Aimée is a complex network of likeable friends, all with their own history, dreams and desires, and because of this it would be a good idea to start reading earlier in the series. The book works well as a stand-alone story and the author is meticulous in providing relevant back-story but I would have liked to know more background for Aimée and her friends and enemies.

Murder on the Left Bank
is an exciting and interesting book that introduces the reader to some fascinating, little known places in Paris and describes them magnificently, and also explores some of the darker places in recent history. It is an excellent read and I recommend it.
Reviewer: Carol Westron
Cara Black was born in Chicago but has lived in California’s Bay Area since she was five years old. Before turning to writing full-time, she tried her hand at a number of jobs: she was a barista in the Basel train station café in Switzerland, taught English in Japan, studied Buddhism in Dharamsala in Northern India, and worked as a bar girl in Bangkok (only pouring drinks!). After studying Chinese history at Sophia University in Tokyo. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture. Murder on the Left Bank her latest.

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.

To read a review of Carol latest book Strangers and Angels click on the title.

No comments:

Post a Comment