ON THE LEFT BANK
Publisher: Soho Crime (June, 2018)
Kindle edition: $14.99
An Aimée Leduc Investigation set in Paris (Book 18)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Paris: 1999. A dying man entrusts a battered notebook to lawyer Eric Besson. Monsieur Leo Solomon, survivor of a German prison camp, has been gathering data about a massive money laundering scheme he’s been involved in for decades. It implicates men of power and wealth, exposing a level of corruption unseen in France for decades. He pleads with Besson to deliver the notebook to Le Proc, the chief prosecuting attorney of Paris, so that justice can be done.
Besson promises the old man that he will take the greatest care to deliver the book to the right hands ASAP. Instead of doing it himself, he tells his nephew Marcus to make the delivery. The teenager’s badly beaten body is found the next day, written off the by police as a drug deal gone wrong. His girlfriend Karine, who was with him, is missing. Besson wants to hire Aimée to find the girl, find out what really happened to Mark, and get the notebook back.
After Aimée’s daughter Chloe was born she had promised her partner Renee that she would stick to their computer business, avoiding the kinds of dangerous cases she’d done before becoming a mother. She means to keep that vow. Really, truly, she does. When Besson tells her that the dangerous organization she thought she’d eliminated, the Hand, was still active, regrouping and spreading, hydra-like, into a powerhouse for criminal corruption, she pauses. When he tells her that her father may be implicated, she’s forced to take the assignment. The Hand had murdered him, and the thought that the notebook might slander his name, overwhelmed her need to stay on the safe path.
Her search for Karine led her into the part of Chinatown where Cambodian refugees had fled the violence of the killing fields of Pol Pot. The community is close-knit and close-mouthed, but she makes some progress. Unfortunately, there are dangerous people who do not want her to find the girl or the explosive notebook. To ensure Chloe’s safety, she sends her to stay with the girl’s father, a Special Forces policeman. Digging further, she finds a woman working in an ancient tapestry factory who fills her in on what happened to Solomon and two other prison mates. This leads her closer to the truth, and into grave danger.Like all the books in this excellent series, MURDER ON THE LEFT BANK is an intricately plotted mystery with fully-drawn characters. Aimée and her friends and colleagues continue to grow and evolve in a totally realistic and believable fashion. The streets and alleys of Paris come alive on the page. All the beauty and ugliness, all the smells and sounds, are vivid. Highly recommended.
Other titles in this series which have been reviewed:
MURDER ON THE QUAI (2016)
MURDER IN SAINT-GERMAIN (2017)
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