A full-throttle adventure through modern Europe and the Mediterranean … that’s part thriller, part mystery, and all rollicking ride.
Pearce again accomplishes every thriller writer’s aim: creating characters that the readers can root for and a believable, fast-paced storyline. The climax and denouement bring the storylines together neatly, but fans will see that there may yet be room for another book in the series.
When readers last saw Eddie Grant in Treasure of Saint-Lazare (2012), he was hot on the trail of Nazi war loot in the company of his on-again, off-again lover, Jen. As readers return to Eddie’s shadowy world of undercover deals and thugs in the employ of crime bosses, they find a quieter, more mature Eddie, now married to Aurélie, a scholar of some note, and living in pleasant domestic bliss. Onto this romantic scene come several of Eddie’s friends, who alert him to suspicious activity within his social circle, involving a man with criminal intentions and an interest in gold. Shortly afterward, a mysterious murder implicates another character from Eddie’s past. As he looks into the matter, Aurélie soon finds herself in danger; at the same time, Jen reappears in Eddie’s life, and he’s simultaneously drawn to her and eager to avoid falling into bed with her again. Soon, he and his comrades must track down another ring of criminals and protect themselves from fatal retribution.
Aurélie took his arm again as they stepped off the curb. The crowd had thinned, leaving them momentarily alone in the street except for a young man in a red hoodie, dancing ahead to the beat of his own private music, a figure of grace and lightness who seemed to float a few inches above the pavement.
Halfway across, Eddie paused and turned to Aurélie for a kiss. He pulled her even closer and she turned eagerly to meet him — and glimpsed a dark sedan, headlights out, as it pulled quickly from behind a parked taxi and careened around the corner toward them. At the same moment, the taxi started to pull away and its front bumper caught the left rear door of the sedan, whose driver ignored the scream of tearing metal and tried to speed up, his front tires bucking and bouncing on the pavement. Aurélie instinctively tightened her grip on Eddie’s arm to pull him out of the street.
“Go!” she cried urgently as the car bore down. Together they took one long step before it was on them. At the last instant, Eddie pushed her forward and she landed in a heap on the curb. He almost escaped untouched, but the car’s left mirror scraped heavily across his hip. He staggered and fell next to Aurélie as she shook her head, beginning to sit up.
The sedan roared away from them at high speed and ran a red light as it turned onto Quai de la Tournelle along the Seine.
The cab driver jumped out and ran to them. “Are you OK?” he asked. “Should I call an ambulance?”
Eddie rolled slowly onto his back and moaned. Aurélie moved closer and asked, “Édouard?”
“I think I’m OK, but my butt’s going to hurt,” he said. He looked down and added, “These trousers have had it, but I don’t think anything is broken. Did anybody get that bastard’s license number?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Pearce is a part-time Parisian but lives quite happily most of the the year in Sarasota, FL. He worked as a journalist in Washington and Europe, where he covered economics for the International Herald Tribune and edited a business magazine. After a business career in Sarasota, he spends his days working on his future books – The new one, Last Stop: Paris, is a 2015 project. It is a sequel to Treasure of Saint-Lazare.
For several months each year, he and his wife Jan live in Paris, walk its streets, and chase down interesting settings for future books and his blog, PartTimeParisian.com. They lived earlier in Frankfurt, Germany, which gave him valuable insights for several of the scenes in Last Stop: Paris.