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Come Barbarians by Todd Babiak
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Come Barbarians

by Todd Babiak

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363449,447 (3.36)4

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I couldn't get over the ludicrousness of the plot. I'm sure someone will pipe up to inform me it's based on true events or some such thing, but for me, I just couldn't suspend enough disbelief. ( )
  reluctantm | May 8, 2014 |
3.5 stars

Christopher Kruse has taken his wife and little girl to France. While there, his daughter Lily is killed and the one who presumably killed her has been murdered himself. Evelyn, Kruse's wife, has disappeared. Though Kruse himself doesn't want to believe it, the assumption is that Evelyn has killed Lily's killer. Kruse sets out to find Evelyn and to prove her innocence, but other unscrupulous men are after her (and him), as well.

This book was really up and down for me. There were some real suspenseful (and gory, in some cases) moments, but there were also times I lost interest/focus. The suspenseful moments in the book were enough to bring my rating to “good”, 3.5 stars, however. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 7, 2014 |
Imagine if you will being in the south of France. You a living in that idyllic region and your marriage is beginning to flourish again. Your young daughter is amazing, adjusting to the new country with ease. Your wife is loving her job and introducing you to new ideas. And you have a collection of friends and neighbours that are loving and warm. But with the squeal of tires on a wet cobblestone road, all of that is lost and your find yourself in an underworld of political mayhem and murder. That is the realm that Todd Babiak sets out his protagonist in his novel Come Barbarians. http://wp.me/p46Ewj-b1 ( )
  steven.buechler | Feb 2, 2014 |
Showing 3 of 3
Come Barbarians is a taut thriller, mercilessly paced, with clever shifts and turns that serve to keep the reader continually unsettled and second-guessing everything and everyone. Were it only that, it would be impressive enough, but Come Barbarians goes much deeper: Babiak’s portrait of a marriage in decline and his depiction of Kruse and his constant self-examination is powerful and thought-provoking.

There are no empty heroics here, and Kruse is no larger-than-life action hero: the peril is very real, and deeply stirring, fuelled by the reader’s connection not only to Kruse but to the life he has lost and which, he comes to realize, he will never recover. Thrilling and heartbreaking, Come Barbarians is a novel that will satisfy the most discerning of readers.
 
For those readers who care most about twists and turns, this novel will thrill. The message at the core of the novel is less fatalistic than that of a Mediterranean author might be. In the end, this story shows that love can transform us. And this brings us to the connection to Babiak’s previous novels. Though this is a much darker tale, he is still using the same observant eye to create fiction that searches for personal and political truth. Light and dark are two sides of the same writer.
 
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French toddlers choose a single stuffed toy and carry it wherever they go, a doudou.
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Book description
In the south of France, a man trying to leave his past behind is caught in a shadowy web of political ambition and violence.

Christopher Kruse has moved to the south of France with his wife and daughter to become a better man — to escape his past as a high-priced security agent and his guilt over old wrongs. But when death comes crashing into their newly idyllic life, the Kruses find themselves drawn into a web of political gamesmanship and murder. When his wife disappears, Christopher must draw on his old instincts to find her, ahead of the police and two sinister members of a Corsican crime family. As Christopher's desperate search leads him closer to his wife, it pulls him deeper into the dangerous machinations of the most powerful leaders in the country.

Come Barbarians is a gripping novel of murder, revenge and high stakes, balanced by moments of love, loyalty and loss. Todd Babiak has created a complex, magnetic character forced to confront his bleakest hour and his darkest impulses.
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Christopher Kruse is a man trying to leave his past behind, but is caught in a shadowy web of political ambition and violence.

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