Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: Two weeks in the South of France

Genre: Thriller

Published: April 30th 2012 by Telemachus Press, LLC

Rating: 3 stars


Late at night in his San Francisco apartment, Christopher Voss gets word that his father has been shot and killed during a business trip to the South of France. The following day he heads to Europe to claim the body and while there he finds out that the father was not the person that he thought he was; the man had been living a double life. At home his dad was a mild mannered and somewhat reserved person, abroad he was a hi-end businessman with a luxury lifestyle and a player who dealt in military hardware, industrial espionage and under-table political favors. Chris meets up with Isabelle--his Dad's knockout mistress (who looks exactly like a younger version of his mother), Monsieur Ballon the dangerous business partner, and Marian Leclerc the gorgeous police inspector who is leading the murder investigation.

In the process of trying to settle the estate he gets embroiled in the search for a missing secret document that the CIA, Vatican and a team of mercenaries hired by powerful French politicians and international industrialists, are all trying to find... and they think he has it! Somewhere in that group of people might be his father's killer who could also be the same person who has made two attempts on his life.

As he digs deeper into the mystery he discovers a long buried family secret, his mother's connection to the killing, and who he really might, or might not, be. 

With the aid of a comic taxi driver and a crazy Russian mobster, he tries to stay alive and catch the assassin.

"Two Weeks in the South of France" is a very fast moving mystery thriller and a fun read that captures the feel, atmosphere and cuisine (be prepared to drool) from that part of Europe



3  stars!

When Chris Voss' father dies in France, our protagonist must travel to do the proper arrangements on the subject. Big is his surprise when he discovers his dad was murdered.
But that is nothing compared to what he has to face on the next 2 weeks. He uncovers many secrets involving both of his parents and a life he couldn't have imagined including intelligence agencies, political schemes and noone to trust completely. 

Regarding the characters: 

- The main character as I said is Christopher Voss. His story is believable but what didn't sound real to me was his change of personality, meaning he was a simple guy from California and suddenly he becomes a higly trained badass, so sure of himself and determined! I mean, the story takes place in such a short timeline that it's difficult to believe that. But I liked him.

- Isabelle is not an appealing character for me, I found myself rolling my eyes more than once when she said she was in love with someone and a few days later she says she loves someone else... besides at some moments she was a nutcase, yelling and making non sense scenes...

- Ballon, what a character! Compelling and intriguing, my favorite. So complex that it makes you doubt if you can trust him or not all the time!

- We also have some other people with important rolls such as Leclerc and Chris' mother but we don't get to know much about them.

About the plot: 

We learn the story of Marko (Chris' father) and Ballon through flashbacks that are sometimes a little tedious but they really help to place them in the present time and they give a perfect background for the current events. 
It is a complete thriller that has secrets and conspiracy and everything you would expect from a good book.
It is an entertaining story! The first part was harder for me to read but after 50% it was a total page turner. Cleverly solved and the kind of book that keeps you at the edge of your seat.


The author's writing skills are well perceived and you have several descriptions of the places and details that totally set you in France.

Do I recommend it? Of course! To everyone that likes thrillers!




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