Review: Murder on the Left Bank by Cara Black


Reviewed by Theodore Feit

51vrputalhl-_sy346_There are several constants in a novel in the Aimee Leduc series:  To begin with there is always Paris, in which a crime for Aimee to solve takes place in a different section.  Then there is Aimee’s juggling between her job running the agency with her partner, Rene, trying to solve the crime and getting herself into danger, and her baby girl, Chloe, now several months old.  And of course, her mysterious mother who disappeared when she was young and is a wanted woman, as well as her memory of her father, a member of corrupt Parisian cops, murdered when he tried to quit the group.


The victim on the Left Bank is the young nephew of an attorney charged with delivering to the prosecutor a tell-all notebook compiled over decades by an old man, an accountant, detailing payoffs, bribes and other nefarious payments to the corrupt cops known as The Hand, including Leduc pere.  Instead he hides the notebook and meets up with his girlfriend.  The attorney hires Aimee to find the notebook.  And additional pressure is brought to bear by The Hand when they mistakenly arrange to kidnap Aimee’s friend’s young daughter instead of Chloe.  Along the way, there are other murders, including that of the kidnapper (so much for making mistakes; The Hand fixes everything).


Oh, another constant arises when Aimee runs into blind alleys:  Mobier, a retired corrupt cop, friend of her father and her godfather and someone Aimee has a love-hate relationship with; her father’s other friends, and her family.  As Bogie said in Casablanca:  We’ll always have Paris.  And the author demonstrates that with the sights and sounds of the twisting streets and ancient buildings.  For that reason alone, the novel is recommended.  Of course the plot also helps.