Rage in Paris

Kirby Williams. Pushcart (Norton, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (250p) ISBN 978-1-888889-76-5
This exciting if uneven first novel captures a frightening time in European history. Set mainly in Paris in 1934, it follows Urby Brown, an African-American jazz player and private detective who left the U.S., where he was the victim of racism, for France. Hired by a wealthy American to find his daughter, supposedly kidnapped by Brown’s associate and fellow musician, Brown comes face-to-face with the violent street fighting taking place in France at the time between the Socialists led by Leon Blum (who has a cameo) and the pro-Fascists forces who want to repeat Nazi Germany’s success. Along the way, Brown reflects on his past, including his childhood at a New Orleans orphanage and his time in the French Foreign Legion fighting in WWI. During the course of his investigation, he discovers his father’s identity, and must decide whether to follow in his footsteps. He also comes to learn more about Daphne, the beautiful young woman he has been hired to find, and her family’s bizarre history. Daphne turns out to have her own dreams, which threaten to bring down Brown. Though the book is fast-paced and full of twists, many of the revelations occur too early in the narrative to achieve maximum effect. A love of Paris and its people, including the poor and the crooked, comes through, however, as does a passion for jazz. A finely wrought story that depicts the violence of an era with a solid noir touch. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 12/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-615-87641-2
Paperback - 248 pages - 978-1-4903-1494-5
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