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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Paris City of Night

I blogged sometime back about this thriller by my friend and colleague David Downie, and now it is out. Here is my Amazon review:

"Okay, this book's hero, Jay Grant, whose father was a CIA man, has got two women in his life although only one of them really has his best interests at heart. It takes Jay quite a while to figure that out, however, as he is pursued from one end of Paris to another trying to figure out why both the CIA and a bunch of bad guys are after some daguerreotypes--could it be they contain the codes needed to blow up the city? Or to stop the city from being blown up? Only a longtime Paris resident writer like David Downie could weave City of Light street scenes so integrally into a fast-paced thriller like this and not lose the plot thread. And talk about your celebrity cameos! Adolph Eichmann, Jim Morrison--never mind that they are dead, they both play key roles. Downie brings both Paris and his characters alive with an economical but richly descriptive prose style reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Eric Ambler. A must read!"

Need I say more?

1 comment:

JordanS said...

As another friend and colleague, I'll enthusiastically second Michael's comments. Paris is affectionately nicknamed "The City of Light." But where there's light, there's inevitably shadow. Like many expat writers, David knows his adopted turf better than many locals -- witness the spot-on description of Jim Morrison's gravesite -- and he illuminates those hidden recesses, painting a vivid chiaroscuro portrait of the shady Parisian underbelly. Paris, City of Night recalls the complex intrigues of Le Carré, the psychological insight of Simenon, the cat-and-mouse tension of Highsmith, yet showcases David's unique voice and pitch-perfect perspective on his adopted city. After reading this twisting compulsive CIA actioner, you'll never think of Paris in quite the same way. For a sunnier view, however, read David's ode in essay form (Paris Paris) or one of his marvelous cookbooks (which also include delectable details of local flavor as well as flavors). Bravo, mon vieux! --Jordan Simon