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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Schoenhof's Foreign Books (June 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601110162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601110169
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Sex and the CIA. Okay, this book s hero, Jay Grant, whose father was a CIA man, has got two women in his life although only one of them really has his best interests at heart. It takes Jay quite a while to figure that out, however, as he is pursued from one end of Paris to another trying to figure out why both the CIA and a bunch of bad guys are after some daguerreotypes--could it be they contain the codes needed to blow up the city? Or to stop the city from being blown up? Only a longtime Paris resident writer like David Downie could weave City of Light street scenes so integrally into a fast-paced thriller like this and not lose the plot thread. And talk about your celebrity cameos! Adolph Eichmann, Jim Morrison--never mind that they are dead, they both play key roles. Downie brings both Paris and his characters alive with an economical but richly descriptive prose style reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Eric Ambler. A must read! --Michael Balter, Balter's Blog

Photographer Jay Grant used his darkroom skills just for fun, producing some believable fake daguerreotypes but when one shows up at a Paris auction, threatening to connect him as a forger and a fraud, Grant dives in to recover the remaining fakes and keep his hands clean. Unfortunately, he didn t know how deep the water was: as the son of a spy, memories from his childhood and another set of daguerrotypes believed to contain important secret messages encoded in a way only Jay can decipher make him a target for the CIA, French intelligence, and possibly other spies and spooks with uncertain allegiances. David Downie s new novel Paris City of Night is Jay s story, stringing together terrorism, auction house fraud, murder, photography, and Nazis into a captivating mystery. [...] Downie s attention to detail and the smooth inclusion of the factual and the fanciful help give the book the believable weight which makes it a much stronger book than you might expect... --Derek Dahlsad, Collectors Quest

About the Author

David Downie has lived in Paris since 1986. A journalist, he is the author of one other crime novel and a dozen nonfiction books, including the acclaimed essay collection Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light.

More About the Author

Did my wife and I really walk 1,100 km across France? Answer: yes! Read all about it in "Paris to the Pyrenees," my new book, out in April 2013.
A native San Franciscan, I've called Paris home since 1986. I live and work in the Marais, and travel widely in France and Italy.
For 25 years my travel, food, wine and arts features have appeared in about 50 leading print magazines and newspapers worldwide. I've been contributing editor, European arts editor or Paris correspondent for half a dozen magazines, and am currently a European correspondent for Gadling.com, the popular literary travel website, as well as theramblingepicure.com, a site dedicated to real food.
My latest venture is app and e-book development: my Paris Timeline debuts in early 2013, and 5 of my print books will soon be e-books.
After writing cookbooks starting in the 1990s I put together 30+ essays about Paris, published under the title "Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light," with striking black-and-white photography by Alison Harris (www.alisonharris.com). The little book that could is now into its 9th printing, available in the prestigious Armchair Traveler series at Broadway Books (Random House). The audio book is coming soon!
Other recent books: Paris City of Night, a classic thriller set in Paris; and three Terroir Guides--Food Wine Italian Riviera & Genoa, Food Wine Rome, and Food Wine Burgundy, plus Quiet Corners of Rome, with more stunning photography, again by Alison Harris.
For bite-sized portions, try some of the anthologies I've contributed to: the latest is A Moveable Feast.
The big news is Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James. Quirky, irreverent, entertaining yet written from the heart the book walks you across 1,100 km of rural France.
After a quarter century I still love living in Paris, Burgundy and Italy. I seriously enjoy sharing my experiences with my readers, and taking them on private tours of Paris, Rome, Burgundy and the Italian Riviera. Please visit my website www.davidddownie.com and my "Paris, Paris Tours" blog site: http://parisparistours.blogspot.com/. All the best, David

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
It is an edge of your seat book that will keep you up until you finish it.
C. A. Jenkins
Downie is a master at crafting a story with real, dimensional characters, places with texture, keen dialogue and beautiful language that stays with you.
E. Heller
A good guy, bad guy story where you're always on edge to know if you got it right.
Rainer7

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jordan S. Simon on July 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I originally discovered Downie's writing through his deliciously evocative food and travel books, so was most curious to read his fiction. It was equally thrilling, albeit in a completely different genre.

Paris is affectionately nicknamed "The City of Light." But where there's light, there's inevitably shadow. Like many expat writers, Downie knows his adopted turf better than many locals -- witness the spot-on description of Jim Morrison's gravesite or a seedy barber shop near the Pantheon -- and he illuminates those hidden recesses, painting a vivid chiaroscuro portrait of the shady Parisian underbelly. Paris, City of Night recalls the complex political intrigues of Le Carré, the shadowy ambiance of Ambler, the psychological insight of Simenon, the cat-and-mouse tension of Highsmith... yet showcases Downie's unique voice and pitch-perfect perspective on his adopted city. And his prose is relentlessly entertaining (or entertainingly relentless). His recipe mixes secret Daguerreotype codes, embittered Cold Warriors, terrorists, and a somewhat reluctant, ambivalent "son of a spook" hero -- with a soupcon of sex and even spicier political commentary.

After reading this twisting compulsive CIA actioner, you'll never think of Paris in quite the same way.

For a sunnier view of his expat hometown, I recommend reading Downie's ode in essay form (Paris Paris) or one of his marvelous cookbooks (which also include delectable details of local flavor as well as flavors).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tick Pyne on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
After sitting up all night, unable to put down this amazingly crafted, sensational book, I can only recommend it wholeheartedly and hope that it receives even part of the extraordinary recognition it merits. The writing is sublime. I have read many thrillers and many thrillers that take place all over the world, but this is stupendous, addictive and stays with you after you've finished as you marvel at Downie, wondering: "How did he DO that?" Please give yourself a real treat, get your own copy and then just see if you can put it down before you've finished it. I dare you!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. Rochefort on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Paris City of Night" is so gripping that I stayed up reading it all night and finished it over breakfast. So hyped up, so engrossed was I by how the story was going to turn out that I forgot that I was ALSO eating and dropped a nice splotch of egg yolk on my beige slacks. "Thriller" is right... What a yarn! And what knowledge of photography the author has! It's extremely well-written (but that's no surprise, given Downie's other books) and I loved all the detail about the Paris neighborhoods and streets, of course. Bravo, bravo to the author for pulling this off. And bravo for writing it in such a made-for-movie way. If I were a rich producer, I'd grab it in a nanosecond. I hope to see it on the screen someday. Whatever the fate of this masterpiece (and I hope it will have a long and healthy life!), I'm giving it my hearty and early endorsement.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Gillett on July 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was a wonderfully written page turner written by author David D. Downie. The story keeps one on the edge of their seat. The story is captivating and alluring, the setting inspiring and awe-worthy; this is a must read for anyone who is fascinated by the city of Paris. Paris City of Night
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Heller on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
I cannot recommend this super-suspense thriller highly enough. It will keep you guessing and on thge edge of your seat the whole time and you will never be able to look at Paris quite the same way again.

Downie is a master at crafting a story with real, dimensional characters, places with texture, keen dialogue and beautiful language that stays with you. He is always a step ahead in his action and that is just the way you'll like it.

I hope this will be just the first of many thrillers to come from this exceptional author. Encore, monsieur!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Balter on July 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Okay, this book's hero, Jay Grant, whose father was a CIA man, has got two women in his life although only one of them really has his best interests at heart. It takes Jay quite a while to figure that out, however, as he is pursued from one end of Paris to another trying to figure out why both the CIA and a bunch of bad guys are after some daguerreotypes--could it be they contain the codes needed to blow up the city? Or to stop the city from being blown up? Only a longtime Paris resident writer like David Downie could weave City of Light street scenes so integrally into a fast-paced thriller like this and not lose the plot thread. And talk about your celebrity cameos! Adolph Eichmann, Jim Morrison--never mind that they are dead, they both play key roles. Downie brings both Paris and his characters alive with an economical but richly descriptive prose style reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Eric Ambler. A must read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Oz on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paris City of Night is a riveting read! I might have finished it in only one or two sittings had I not been sidetracked a couple of times by having to take out a map to pinpoint the locale of various scenes. I also put it down to consult with another book in my possesion that chronicles the work of photographers from the 1830s to the present, when I recognized that references in Paris City of Night were to actual historical photographers. The machinations of plot and detail regarding daguerreotypes, film processing, etc., rang true because I assumed they were based, in part, on the inside knowledge the author has because of his wife's work (Alison Harris is a well-known photographer). But I soon got too caught up in the suspense of the story to let myself be distracted as I hurtled along with the characters to the satisfying denouement.
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