Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: The Paris Directive by Gerald Jay

For the travel-hungry reader whose wish list says "France," but whose wallet says "stay-cation," this tantalizing and skillfully written thriller is just the ticket.

In a Berlin hotel room in the late 1990s, two former French intelligence agents hire Klaus Reiner, a ruthlessly effective hit man, to eliminate an American industrialist vacationing in the Dordogne, in southwestern France. Reiner easily locates his target in the small village of Taziac, but the hit is compromised when three innocent people are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Enter Inspector Paul Mazarelle, formerly of Paris but now living in Taziac, charged with bringing his experience and record of success in the capital to bear on the gruesome quadruple homicide at the height of tourist season.

Both Mazarelle's investigation and Reiner's assignment become complicated when Molly, a New York City district attorney and daughter of two of the victims, arrives to identify the bodies and begins asking questions. All evidence points to Ali Sedak, a local Arab handyman, but Mazarelle and Molly have doubts, forcing Reiner to return to Taziac to ensure they see things as he arranged them.

Gerald Jay delivers a perfect vacation read that's also like going on vacation: delicious food and wine, lush countryside, and characters with panache to spare. And the wonderful cat-and-mouse game between the suave, ice-cold killer and the earthy, engaging French detective is the icing on the "g√Ęteau."

I've always wanted to visit Paris so this novel's blurb piqued my interest.

The Paris Directive focuses on Mazarelle, an inspector, and Reiner, a hired assassin. The story is set mostly in Paris, but occasionally the location shifts to Spain and other choice places.

Mazarelle is no Poirot or Closseau, but the way he is portrayed is very realistic. He doesn't figure things out of the blue, but he reaches conclusions logically. As for the other characters, I didn't really warm up to them. Maybe that's why even though the plot was interesting and well-constructed, I didn't really get into it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday for the e-ARC. Publication date for The Paris Directive is on June 19, 2012.

  1. Vivid descriptions of interesting places in Paris.
  2. Interesting protagonist.
  3. Well-constructed plot.
  1. Depending on how you like your thriller novels, you might not be too excited about this.
One of those stores full of interesting jars and tins of Earl Grey tea from London, biscottinos form Milan, and wonderful French mustards, jams, jellies, nuts, and pates wrapped in yellow cellophane and ribbons.
  1. You like mystery, thriller novels.
  2. You like Paris.
  3. You are an armchair traveler.



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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