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review 2018-08-19 14:20
Done! On to something better.
Paris Echo - Sebastian Faulks

Okay, I'm not going over the premise as that's done in every review and shouldn't be. I really was disappointed in this read for several reasons. I thought the author was trying to impress the reader with his knowledge of French streets and train stops. The constant intro of new street names was numbing. I mean who cares? I thought many little'instances' were staged for the book and irrelevant to the story, like Tariq taking money back for someone in Algeria. That entire scene's purpose is never explained and seemed inserted to take up space. The entire story seemed contrived and meant to draw parallels between France's actions in WWII and their colonialism in Algeria. I was very disappointed in the ending. Others may enjoy this book, in the end I did not.

I liked the character, Tariq, and thought maybe the author should have told just his story and just forgotten about Hannah, who I thought a bore.

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review 2018-07-27 21:08
Poignant and soul searching
Paris Echo - Sebastian Faulks

Tariq Sandrine, a Moroccan teenager, has taken the decision to travel to Paris in part to discover something about his Parisian born mother...."Paris and its beauty, by its pavement cafes and its trees and bridges, by its cathedral floating on the stream and all the other charms to which no sane person could fail to respond"...... Hannah is in Paris as part of her studies; a thesis she is writing on the women of Paris during its occupation by the Germans in 1940-1944. When Tariq and Hannah meet by chance a strange alliance develops between them, a meeting of lost souls in a city with a troubled war history.

 

Tariq finds employment in the guise of a fast food outlet where he is introduced to the joys of smoking hash and loose women. As a 19 year old and a late developer his part in Paris Echo is his coming of age. It is however the experiences of Hannah and her attempt to source surviving evidence either written or recorded that lends to Paris Echo a great sense of loss and hopelessness. She learns of the attitude of Parisian women to the German occupation and tearfully researches such brave resistance fighters as Andree Borrel, a young French woman trained by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) Through an act of betrayal Borrel is captured  and sent to "Natzweiler" the only concentration camp ever built in France...."but when her turn came, Andree was still conscious and fought back, tearing flesh from the face of her murderer with her fingernails as he pushed her into the flames"....Fraternization, collaboration and betrayal was what defined Paris at this time..."the indifference of others; the racial hatred and propaganda and the deportations to the death camps"......

 

This is a poignant sobering story blending historical fact into a modern setting. Two young people trying to interpret this business of living and their role within that. For Tariq it will mean friendship, manhood and winning the girl of his dreams. For Hannah true love has always been close but will she discover its tender touch before it disappears. Paris Echo is a story full of hope with a simple message that life is for the taking and only by action can we understand the true meaning of what it is to exist. Many thanks to the good people at netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

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text 2018-07-27 02:06
And yet another series for me to binge on
The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

Already ordered book two from the library. 

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text 2018-07-15 01:40
The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

I recently bought a Kindle short story which is by Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane and has Harry Bosch and Patrick Kenzie teaming up to solve a crime in Boston.

 

I've read all of Lehane's Kenzie and Genarro stories, but haven't ready any of Connelly's books about Harry Bosch, so thought I should find out a little bit about Harry before I read about their meeting.

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review 2018-06-25 21:45
The first in the series
The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

There is nowhere better for me to try to understand the mindset of Harry Bosch or indeed his creator Michael Connelly by starting again where it all began book one in the series.

 

Harry is best described as "a detective who would do the right thing no matter what the cost. A man with a sharp worn code of conduct. A classic outsider.".... In The Black Echo we learn about Harry's activities as a tunnel rat during the Vietnam war and how the horrors of this underground hell helped shape him as a detective with the will to survive and a loner's code of justice. When the body of a fellow "rat" Billy Meadows is discovered in a drain outlet, Harry is determined to find the perpetrator responsible and bring justice to his onetime comrade in arms. In this endeavour he is joined by FBI agent Eleanor Wish, a relationship develops that becomes personal and leaves Harry wondering if her intentions are honourable or does she harbor an underlying agenda.

 

The weakness of the story is the plot; dirty money profits from Saigon laundered as diamonds/precious stones and kept secret in a bank vault in downtown LA. The only way to retrieve the hidden stash is to tunnel deep into the innards of the bank. In contrast the strength of the story is the superb charactization of the main players. Bosch, Eleanor Wish and Deputy Chief Irvin Irving who appears to be on a one man crusade against what he views as underhand tactics by a maverick lone detective.

 

As always Michael Connnelly is razor sharp in his acute observations of the human spirit....."Sunsets did that here. Made you forget it was the smog that made their colors so brilliant, and that behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story."....."He was a worn-out old man whose eyes had quit caring about anything but the odds on three year olds"..."I believe that shit happens. I believe that the best you can do in this job is come out even".......

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