April in Paris

John J. Healey. Arcade, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-951627-74-4
American art historian Shaun, the protagonist of this pallid mystery from Healey (The Samurai’s Daughter), is on sabbatical in Paris when through mutual friends he meets Carmen, a microbiologist who teaches at MIT. The two are attracted to each other, and Shaun confides in Carmen about a haunting dream in which he’s a young girl who uses scissors to cut wires binding her legs before fleeing Shaun’s grandfather’s Bronx house. The scissors remind Shaun of his childhood barbershop, and googling it yields the transcript of the 1916 trial of Eugene MacBride, charged with raping and strangling 11-year-old Ingrid Anderson, a neighbor of Shaun’s family. After Shaun realizes that Anderson resembles the girl from his dream, he investigates. Unfortunately, the transcript excerpts consist of narrative paragraphs that seem like formal written witness statements rather than actual testimony, and uneven prose (“It was as if all of our banter up until then... fell away like scaffolding, like the cracked shell of an egg, broken by the force of an instinct unwilling to remain hidden any longer”) is another minus. Healey unsuccessfully combines a cold case with romance. Agent: Maria Cardona Serra, Pontas Copyright Agency. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/10/2021
Release date: 07/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 978-1-951627-75-1
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