Son of France

Todd Babiak. HarperCollins Canada, $21.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-44344-382-1
Babiak's second crime fiction novel is stronger than his first, Come Barbarians. Continuing the story of private security agent Christopher Kruse, Babiak fills in the gaps for new readers. Beautiful prose carries readers into Kruse's world as he wanders Paris's streets alone and grieves the death of his young daughter. It propels him into the action of the story: "It began with a brief inhale, a contraction, as though the room were preparing to sneeze," Kruse says, describing the moment before grenades explode in a restaurant. The quality of writing diminishes somewhat as the pace of the action speeds up. Babiak wrote the book before the 2015 terrorist attacks that scarred Paris, but the story is still timely, exploring a city grappling with demographic changes that challenge the resilience and stubbornness of the French national character. Readers fond of the likeable Kruse may suspend their disbelief while the hero takes a mostly one-man approach to tracking down the bad guys with little help from the authorities. The book is cheaper than a trip to Paris and offers the thrills of hunting down terrorists without the real-life dangers. Agent: Martha Magor Webb, McDermid Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/29/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4434-4383-8
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4434-4384-5
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