My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review: Murder In The Marais by Cara Black

Please Note:  I am in the Amazon Affiliate program.  If you buy the book through the links I have, I will get a small fee.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Aimée Leduc has always sworn she would stick to tech investigation—no criminal cases for her. Especially since her father, the late police detective, was killed in the line of duty. But when an elderly Jewish man approaches Aimée with a top-secret decoding job on behalf of a woman in his synagogue, Aimée unwittingly takes on more than she is expecting. She drops off her findings at her client’s house in the Marais, Paris’s historic Jewish quarter, and finds the woman strangled, a swastika carved on her forehead. With the help of her partner, René, Aimée sets out to solve this horrendous murder, but finds herself in an increasingly dangerous web of ancient secrets and buried war crimes.

I read this book because I kept hearing about the author (who I think lives in the Bay Area).  I have not been a fan of the murder mystery genre, yet I found Murder In The Marais, by Ara Black to be  highly entertaining.   I may need to re-evaluate my choices so I can read the whole series.

What I Liked:
Aimee is a French detective with a host of problems.  She drinks too much, is behind on her taxes, and seems drawn to bad boys.  I loved that she wasn't perfect.  She makes mistakes and learns from them.  And she is still traumatized by the violent death of her father, a prominent police investigator.  

But she is also very good at her job as a private detective.  Aimee is willing to do almost anything to get information, including posing as a white supremacist.  She uses wigs, make-up and costumes to look authentic.  All her disguises were fun to read about, and I was on the edge of my seat hoping she wouln't get caught.

I also loved following the German character, Hartmuth, as he returns to Paris many years after the war.  How does he feel about facing the ghosts of his past?  Does he have any remorse?  I really found it interesting that his recollection of what happened during the war is vastly different from how other remember it.

I loved the clothing details for Aimee.  She has fabulous taste in French couture, but doesn't have the funds to buy them.  No problem!  She works the second had shops (and even uses the five finger discount!) to snag Chanel suits, and lethal heels!

If you love Paris, you are in for a treat.  The author obviously has spent a lot of time in France and she gets the mood and tempo of the city just right.

It's also fun to go back in time with this book.  The book is set in 1993, when computers were just beginning to be relied on.  There were still modems that one had to use to hook up with the internet, and most people couldn't access information as we can now.  But for Aimee, a smart computer hacker, cracking into protected databases is a puzzle she seems to relish.

The central murder in this story involves incidents that start during WWII.  France went through tremendous hardships because they were occupied by the Nazis.  The population were being starved out, and anyone who cooperated with soldiers was labeled a collaborator.  This story shows the many moral compromises people had to face during the war.  All this comes to a boil forty years later as the characters must confront their pasts and decide how to proceed.  

This was a page turner!  There were many twists and turns and I did not know who the murderer was until the end.  But, I loved that there were plenty of clues that I could follow.  The resolution did not come out of left field.

What I Didn't Like:



Release Date:  1999

Genre:  Murder Mystery

Publisher:  Soho Crime

Page Length:  354 Pages

Source:  Public Library

Format:  Paperback

Recommendation:  This was a highly entertaining book with a flawed main character.  If you start with this book, I think reading more in the series will be a given.
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2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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