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I was going to write a review based on how disappointed I was that this title wasn't The Paris Detective, like I originally thought when I ordered this book. I pictured a sort of Sherlock Holmes in Paris kind of thing, or maybe a Hercule Poirot in England type (okay, maybe not Hercule Poirot, he's so fussy). I was picturing a period piece set in turn of the century London or Paris, with a string of unsolved murders that can only be solved by our hero, the Paris Detective. Or maybe there is murder in the sleepy town of Dijon and they need the help of a big city detective with his strange ways and modern new techniques. I mean, it even says "An Inspector Mazarelle Novel" for goodness sakes, I really thought it was going to be a cozy mystery!
But I can't write a whole review about my mistaken reading of the title. I had to actually read the book. Turns out it's one of those spy thrillers (The Paris Directive) that I'm so bad at reviewing. As soon as the CIA is involved in any way or someone says the word "operative," I just glaze over. I get confused, constantly lose the plot, and think about how much I dislike Matt Damon. My mind wanders and I vow to never order another spy thriller book again, because clearly it's the genre in my blind spot.
But here goes:
Well there really IS a Paris detective, the aforementioned Inspector Paul Mazarelle, but he has to uncover the truth behind a multiple homocide that we already know is part of an international spy/assassin plot. And it DOES take place at the turn of the century, but at the turn of the LAST century (1999). The problem, for me, is that he doesn't really "detect" anything, at least not for the benefit of the reader, since we already know who the killer is. And I found the convoluted plot with multiple locations, well, convoluted.
But take this review for what it's worth. I realize I'm crap at reviewing spy thrillers or anything described as having "international intrigue." It's not that I dislike the genre, it's more like it's a foreign language to me. So I don't really know if The Paris Directive is a good example of a thriller. I do know it's not much of a murder mystery.
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley.com. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.