This first book in Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc Detective series was a lovely surprise. Along with her partner Rene, she runs a detective agency that specializes in computer forensics and security. However, they owe thousands in back taxes, not to mention being behind in other accounts. When a mysterious older gentleman insists she take his case in the name and memory of her deceased father and offers a fistful of cash she can’t refuse. While carrying out her duties, she stumbles upon a dead woman with a swastika carved on her forehead. Nothing will be the same.
The cold Parisian winter wraps itself around her as she sets about gathering clues about the dead woman, which lead her to an even bigger and more ominous turn of events. The Marais is the old Jewish quarter of Paris, so it’s no surprise that the Occupation, with its collaborators and informers figure prominently in this story set in the early nineties. The concerns about nationalism, terrorism and coming to terms with the past in the young European Union is equally relevant today. The story moved along at a breakneck speed and I happily immersed myself in Aimee’s world. She’s smart and tough, with more than a little flair, whether she’s posing as a punked up member of the LBN, hiding in the Victor Hugo museum overnight or donning a designer outfit and leopard print heels mid-escape. I’m ready for more.