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Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

Murder in the Marais (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Cara Black

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7944411,562 (3.21)76
Title:Murder in the Marais
Authors:Cara Black
Info:New York: Soho Press, 2000.
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:fiction, female author, american, france, paris, marais, mystery, private investigator, female detective, aimee leduc, war, wwii, jewish, racism, series-1st, soho crime, soho press, bookshelf34

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Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (1999)



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Murder in the Marais is the first book in the Aimee Leduc series, featuring a female private investigator who normally works on the tech investigation side. Her father, the late police chief, was killed in a terrorist attack. When a woman is found dead with a swastika carved on her forehead, a Jewish rabbi asks Aimee to take on the job. With the help of her partner, Rene, Aimee sets out to solve this horrible crime, but finds herself in an increasingly dangerous web of ancient secrets and buried war crimes.

The book moves between present (1993) and occupied Paris during World War II. We learn how young Lili, the dead woman, stayed safe during the war, along with her friend, Sarah,, who was involved with a Nazi soldier. Today, the soldier is a diplomat, in Paris to take part in a treaty negotiation.

This is the first book in a series so we spend a bit of time getting to know Aimee. She's tough and I wouldn't count her out in a fist fight. She can blend in with any crowd, including neo Nazi skinheads. The story was a little difficult to follow at first but once I got further in, I thought the action was nonstop. I definitely plan to try the next book in the series. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 17, 2016 |
A good story, but sometimes hard to follow. ( )
  Lschwarzman | Jul 29, 2016 |
Somehow Aimée Leduc is an archetypal French woman. Breezy, stylish, skillful, thrifty, sexy, and she has a curly haired lapdog that never needs a walk. She also has a dwarf and an apartment in an ancient unheated Parisian building. If this sounds unbelievable, it is, but as we give the French as a whole a pass on this kind of stuff, we should certainly should allow Aimée to entertain us.

Aimée is a trained detective who specializes in industrial espionage. She and her colleague, the dwarf René, are computer hackers who never ever do field work after some earlier exploits that are never fully explained but which left Aimée wounded. One day, though, an elderly Jewish gentleman arrives at Aimée's office and asks her to deliver an envelope to an elderly Jewish woman who lives in the Marais. (I never quite figured out why he could not do it himself.) Aimée thinks that while this job is outside her new operating parameters, the bank account is empty, the rent is due, and the taxman is calling, so she agrees to run this simple errand. When she arrives, the old woman is dead and then the old man is murdered. Aimée uses her prodigious skill set and an assortment of disguises (including posing as a neo-Nazi) to solve the murder. The murderer's identity is implausible and, like the hyper-successful continuation of the underground Nazi political cell "Werwolf" ("Werewolf" in English"), completely unneeded. Simplicity would have been better.

"Murder in the Marais" was published in 1998 but it is set in 1993. This date is somewhat arbitrary as Ms Black needed to find a time modern enough so Aimée could be a computer hacker but early enough that the characters in the story who were thrown together by WW2, were still young enough to be professionally active. This did not work very well, I thought, but I tend to forget how young soldiers were in WW2. Here we are told that one of the soldiers was only 18. Maybe, but it did not feel right.

All in all "Murder in the Marias" is a first book and is a little rough. But it is amusing and I enjoyed it even though I rolled my eyes a bit.

I received a review copy of "Murder in the Marais" by Cara Black (SoHo Press) through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Jul 2, 2016 |
Fast-paced thriller that links to past dark days in Parisian history.

A confirmed Aimee Leduc fan, this stunning mystery casts its net around the life of Aimee Leduc and draws her (and me) ever more tightly into the centre of a dark web.
It starts when an elderly gentleman, with the look of a survivor searching for lost ones, presents himself at Aimee's office. He utters these words, 'I knew your father, an honourable man. He told me to come to you if I needed help.'
Aimee doesn't take investigative detective work anymore, she deals in corporate security. This seems like a simply delivery, and she needs the money.
Nothing is ever as it seems with Aimee. She finds herself drawn into the hunt for a killer with Nazi ties through circumstances that open her own wounds, haunted as she is by nightmares of her father's death.
This time the past crawls out to confront the future as Aimee finds herself investigating the death of an old Jewish woman who'd been barely a teenager when her parents had been taken by the Gestapo, turned in by a collaborator. Lili Stein had escaped deportation to the camps when Marais had been raided during the Nazi occupation. Now that woman has been brutally murdered and bodies start to pile up, as investigations are mysteriously halted or referred to other branches of the French police and security.
When the final puzzle is brought together it is chilling. The past overshadows the present, lives are turned upside down and old wounds opened and closed. Shocking events mirror each other. Why had Lili boarded up a window? Who fears exposure? Aimee is drawn into the heart of a neo-Nazi organization, dangerous and deluded, in her search for answers.
Aimee finds herself in a fight for her very life, as always impeccably dressed in her designer wear. And this time it saves her life when scrabbling over rooftops pursued by an unknown assassin, 'she had to say one thing for designer wear, it held up under tough conditions.'
This was a second read for me. It grabbed me just as much now as the first read did.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Jun 25, 2016 |
An incredible mystery from an American who bases all of her stories on a neighborhood in Paris. There are far too many coincidences which just happen to occur such as the meeting of a German officer with his Jewish true love and the reveal that a candidate for the prime ministry is a former turncoat. The set up is not bad, and LeDuc can shoot straight and does,but this book is not believable. It is also too long. ( )
  annbury | Jun 6, 2016 |
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Sleuth and computer expert Aimee Leduc, a Franco-American, hunts for neo-Nazis in Paris following the murder of a Jewish woman. As part of her investigation she becomes involved with an Aryan supremacist. First in a projected series.

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