In modern day Paris, Justice Stanislas Cassel, criminal
investigator, is probing the murder of a pensioner. The
dead man held secrets about a former German collaborator,
Casell's only suspect, who is uncooperative during questioning.
When this link to the crime is also found dead, Cassel finds
himself at the centre of something much deeper. In the meantime,
unrest and protest in Paris, in the form of Neo-Nazi rallies,
allow the plot to question if the far right is again taking
over the French government. Cassel also finds himself falling
in love with a chairwoman of a Jewish charity, which leads
him to reexamine his guilty feelings about having a grandfather
who was a nazi collaborator during the war. The investigator
and the chairwoman hold the keys to solving more than murder.
Haberman's tendency to shift points of view and verb tenses
without warning can occasionally pull the reader out of
the story. While set in modern Europe, the author seems
to be trying for nostalgic noir, but fails with stilted
and contrived dialogue (I heard an exaggerated version of
Peter Lorre in my head whenever someone diabolical spoke).
The author tries too hard to weave history through the mystery
in order to make a political points, leaving the reader
puzzled. Tough to follow and difficult to read to the end,
this novel could do with an editor and rewrite to make it
fluid and sensible.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Flood Gondek interviews aspiring writers on her blog, FlashFlood
and her work has appeared in Flashing
in the Gutters.
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