Friday, June 15, 2012
Book Review of Gerald Jay's The Paris Directive
Like most longtime mystery readers, I feel an eager anticipation when I start the first book in a new series, wondering if it will be an introduction to a protagonist who will become like an old friend, revisited each year. In the case of The Paris Directive, just the listing of the first few chapters provided a frisson of excitement:
2. Élysée Palace, Paris
3. Hotel Adlon, Berlin
4. L'Ermitage, Taziac
6. Dordogne River
7. Café Valon, Taziac
Ah, looks like international intrigue; perhaps a political thriller. We begin by meeting Klaus Reiner, hired killer, whose cold efficiency, bland good looks and fluency in German, French and English have put him at the peak of his deadly profession, with the ability to choose the most lucrative contracts.
This is where our protagonist enters the scene. Paul Mazarelle, a former Paris police detective now living in Taziac, jumps on the case like a dog on a bone. Mazarelle had moved to Taziac, his young wife's home, when she became ill, and he is now a widower who doesn't know whether to make Taziac his permanent home or return to Paris. Mazarelle is a comfortably large, sympathetic and unassuming middle-aged man with a luxuriant mustache, who enjoys his pipe, good wine and food, and women. But, most of all, Mazarelle likes to sink his teeth into a meaty murder case.
Note: I received a free advance copy of the book for review. It is scheduled for release by Knopf Doubleday on June 19. A version of this review appears on the Amazon product page, under my Amazon user name. The nature pictures in this post are from Gerald Jay's blogsite.