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Posted August 31, 2007
'Game of Patience' opens in 1796 post revolutionary Paris. A police 'investigator' (as he prefers to be called, rather than an informer or a spy) by the name of Aristide Ravel is called upon to assist in solving a double murder case. The two victims, an extortionist named Saint-Ange, and a respectable young woman, Celie Montereau, at first appear to have no connection. As Ravel begins his investigation searching for clues and interogating witnesses, he unravels a case far more complicated than what he originally suspected. The synopsis I just gave barely touches upon the plot of the book, but as is the case with many mysteries, its tough to give an accurate overview without giving away the story. To avoid spoiling the entire book for any potential readers, we'll just leave it at that, and focus on my opinions of the work. It took me a while to warm up to this story. The language is a bit rough for those of us who don't speak a word of French. Not that there is an overwhelming amount of French vocabulary included in the story, but rather its the foreign names and places that are involved in the plot that I got hung up on. It's hard (for me at least) to envision a place that I can't envision pronouncing accurately. Once I got past that however, I got sucked into a who done it murder mystery that had me pretty baffled until the end. Alleyn is an expert on French history and culture, that much is blatantly obvious from reading this book. She weaves her knowledge in skillfully, and is able to transport her readers to another place and time as they read. One that to many readers, is completely new and alien, yet they will quickly begin to feel at home there, as I did. There are several characters that we become intimately acquainted with throughout the story a few are quite endearing, while others are basically revolting. Without giving much away, I do have to say that the ending of this book is one of the most satisfying endings I've read in a while. All loose ends are wrapped up into a tight bow, and all unanswered questions are at last explained. The reasoning and logic included at the end of the story make the entire book worthwhile...its a perfect ending to an all around good read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
taut French police procedural
In 1796 Paris, undercover police spy, investigator Aristide Ravel and his superior Commissaire Brasseur, investigate the murders of property landlord Jean-Louis Saint-Ange and his former lover, Célie Montereau in a chic apartment owned by the former. Aristide quickly learns that no one misses Jean-Louis with many rejoicing at his death because he was a nasty sort blackmailing aristocrat the blackguard even extorted money from Celie, who was his lover. --- An interrogation of Célie's acrimonious friend Rosalie Clément leads Aristide to Philippe Aubry, a violent man who allegedly loved the female victims, but he has an airtight alibi. At the same time to his chagrin, Aristide begins to fall in love with Rosalie, though he has not totally ruled her out as abetting the killer by hiding much of what she knows from him and Brasseur. Aristide keeps digging as he knows Brasseur plans to send Rosalie ton a date with Madame Guillotine. --- This is a tremendous post-revolution but pre Napoleon taut French police procedural starring a hero with a bothered conscience because he knows he sent innocent people to the guillotine. The who-done-it is cleverly devised so that the audience obtains a deep look at 1796 Paris yet never slows down the pace of the investigation. Still this tale belongs to Aristide, who believes his past prevents him from a future filled with love that is if he can figure out who his rancorous beloved protects. Fans will also want to read the delightful homage to Dickens, A FAR BETTER REST --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 24, 2013
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