I have read several books in the Mary Russel series by Laurie R King. I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. So when I had an opportunity to preview The Bones of Paris, I agreed. I was not disappointed.
The setting is Paris during the summer and early fall of 1929. The story takes place mostly in Montparnasse and Montmartre, areas of ex patriots from England and America and the art community of Paris. The lead character, Harris Stuyvesant, is a former FBI agent working as a private detective across Europe. He has been hired to look for a young American women who has been missing since the end of March. He has a personal vested interest in finding her because he had had a brief affair with her, and had wanted to reconnect and develop a more long-term relationship. He was conflicted because he was also in love with a women he met in England and had wanted to marry. But after a terrible event, she did not want to see anyone and did not want to pursue their relationship.
There are many colorful people and locations, both real and part of Ms King's imagination. She has woven together a highly suspenseful story, beautiful and hideous settings, and participants from quirky to psychotic. Paris is as much a character in the story as any of the people.
This book is intelligent, challenging, filled with interesting (at times frightful) characters and a story with more twist and turns than a ride in the Alps. If you like mystery and suspense, historical settings and colorful characters, this book is for you.
As an aside, Harris reminded me of the venerable Toby Peters of the mysteries by Stuart M Kaminsky: hard-headed, a tough exterior with a romantic heart, and continually charging into physically abusing situations to find the person in distress.