The Third Way

Jean Warmbold, Author Permanent Press (NY) $22 (240p) ISBN 978-0-932966-92-6
Set in Paris, Warmbold's third mystery in the Sarah Calloway series (after The White Hand ) has as backdrop the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. San Francisco-based investigative reporter Sarah is at a Paris auction to bid on an early-20th-century North African travel journal of a famous female explorer. She intends to retrace the route and report her impressions. When the manuscript is suddenly removed from auction, Sarah makes the acquaintance of an enigmatic young Arab who offers to help her secure it privately. A day later he is apparently murdered, thrusting Sarah, a pivotal yet uncomprehending figure, into a web of double and triple agents involving a Holocaust survivor and even Sarah's journalist lover, who had been scheduled to meet her in Paris from his Jerusalem assignment. Sarah's problems are further compounded by the Paris police, who are not convinced of her innocence, especially as the body has disappeared. Initially promising an absorbing plot, Warmbold runs out of creative energy. The conclusion is pedestrian, failing to make much of an argument for a Middle East peace settlement, which is the novel's underlying theme. Paperback rights to Knightsbridge. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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