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Library JournalFirst published in France in 2010, winner of the Prix Blue Moon for Best Thriller, and now translated into English as an ebook exclusive, Khara’s slim thriller alternates between brief episodes in the past involving Nazi genetic experiments and four days in the present. Jay Novacek, a Wall Street trader, is ready to end it all, his dissolute life having led to a child’s death. Jay snaps out of his downward spiral when he learns that his father, whom he hated for abandoning his family years earlier, had actually worked undercover for the CIA and is now dead. When Jay receives a locket containing a key embossed with a swastika and a slip of paper with the number of a Swiss bank deposit box, he discovers a package left by his father that hints at a conspiracy that will change the fate of the world. Jay will need all his wits, the help of a petite but deadly female CIA agent, and a gigantic Mossad hit man to stop the conspiracy and survive.
Verdict Khara’s thriller, with its pared-down prose, pell-mell pace, and extreme brevity, might remind some of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels or Adam Hall’s Quiller series. Events occur in rapid succession, without much atmospheric amplification, sometimes with lighthearted humor that will seem breezy to some but mere flippancy to others. A quick read to be savored as a hurried snack rather than a leisurely French meal. [Le French Book is a new digital-first publisher specializing in French crime fiction; its titles are available for all ebook platforms, including OverDrive; this title sold more than 100,000 copies in France.—Ed.]—Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
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