Review of MURDER IN THE SENTIER by Cara Black
AN AIMEE LEDUC INVESTIGATION
A woman, a stranger, calls on detective Aimee Leduc with a strange story. She was Aimee's cellmate and can tell Aimee of her long-lost mother--but she demands money for her information. When Aimee shows up with the money, she finds the woman has been murdered. Desperate to find word of her mother, Aimee plunges into an investigation of the revolutionary terrorists of the 1970s--a circle that included her mother.
Aimee's search takes her through the depths of the Sentier district of Paris--still home to the remnants of the 1970s radical movement, socialist intellectuals, prostitutes, sweatshops, and the police. Walking a narrow line between law and unlawfulness, Aimee discovers evidence that something is being hidden--something beyond the memories of aging radicals.
Author Cara Black keeps Aimee in constant motion, rushing from one scene to the next, calling in favors from an intriguing variety of friends, toying with romance as she fights her craving for cigarettes. Aimee gains sympathy as she searches for her mother and tries to clear her father's name from the hints that he had become a dirty cop.
Although Black is an American author, her Paris feels terribly authentic. I would, however, have liked to see a little more cleverness on the part of Aimee. Her constant rushing about sometimes seemed to come at the cost of a bit of reflection--reflection which would have given Aimee insights into what she was doing and the reader a chance to internalize the action. The slam-bam action occasionally felt more like a movie script than a novel.
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