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The Paris Directive: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese; First Edition edition (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385535481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385535489
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Outstanding! The Paris Directive is a beguiling, atmospheric, and entirely entertaining novel that promises intrigue and suspense from the very first page. Inspector Mazarelle is a wonderful creation: a world weary, gimlet-eyed detective who must rouse himself for one last case. I expect to see him one day in the pantheon of greats alongside Poirot, Maigret, Brunetti and Zen." 
—Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Deception

"Jay’s entertaining first novel pays homage to George Simenon and his legendary detective, Inspector Maigret. . . . The main draw is the charming, indomitable Inspector Mazarelle, who enjoys puffing on his old pipe, stopping for cognac in the middle of the day, and dining on sausages and lentils or his favorite dish, duck confit, at the Café Valon. Mystery fans will look forward to seeing more of him in the promised sequel."
Publishers Weekly

"Gerald Jay has woven threads of police procedural, espionage, rural noir, ‘acts of barbarism,’ and Gallic charm into a story that will be a great fit for almost any crime fan."
Booklist, starred review

About the Author

GERALD JAY is a nom de plume. He lives in New York City and is at work on a second Mazarelle novel.

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Customer Reviews

Other characters are just as thinly characterized.
I really enjoyed this book: it was well written, had a rich and satisfying cast of characters and a great plot.
I recommend this book and look forward to more adventures of the colorful French inspector from Taziac.
W. Easley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Maine Colonial TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like most long-time mystery readers, I feel an eager anticipation when I start the first book in a new series, wondering if it will be an introduction to a protagonist who will become like an old friend, revisited each year. In the case of The Paris Directive, just the listing of the first few chapters provided a frisson of excitement:

1. Berlin
2. Élysée Palace, Paris
3. Hotel Adlon, Berlin
4. L'Ermitage, Taziac
5. Frankfurt
6. Dordogne River, Bergerac
7. Café Valon, Taziac

Ah, looks like international intrigue. Sure enough, we begin by meeting Klaus Reiner, hired killer, whose cold efficiency, bland good looks and fluency in German, French and English have put him at the peak of his deadly profession, with the ability to choose the most lucrative contracts.

Reiner's newest assignment takes him to the fictional village of Taziac, in France's Dordogne. The beautiful village in summer, with its cafés and restaurants, makes no impression on the all-business Reiner. He just wants to get the job done and move on, with the satisfaction of seeing an impressively large new deposit to his numbered account in Switzerland. But the hit goes wrong and Reiner has to take out four middle-aged tourists, instead of just the one assigned to him.

This is where our protagonist enters the scene. Paul Mazarelle, a former Paris police detective now living in Taziac, jumps on the case like a dog on a bone. Mazarelle had moved to Taziac, his young wife's home village, when she became ill, and he is now a widower who doesn't know whether to make Taziac his permanent home or return to Paris. Mazarelle is a comfortably large, middle-aged man with a luxuriant mustache, who enjoys his pipe, good wine and food, and women.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dick Johnson VINE VOICE on July 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having read and enjoyed mystery/suspense books for over half a century, I'm always on the lookout for new writers. Since "Gerald Jay" is a "nom de plume", there is no way to know if he is really a he or if s/he is a new writer, but I"m going with the information I have. This is well written technically, and, though too much was based on forced coincidences, it started off well.

The characters are basically interesting, though not particularly well developed. The few main people moving around the French town of Taziac are pretty unique and, though he may have been given too many shortcomings, Inspector Mazarelle comes across as a combination of Poirot and Columbo. I'm still not sure just how well that combination will work for a series.

Halfway through the book, I was stunned by actions of one of the characters. I dislike books that take supposedly smart people and have them do dumb things just so the story can take a twist. In this case it was unbelievably dumb given the circumstances. The rest of the book became totally predictable. This caused me to cringe while reading; never a good thing.

Getting through the rest of the book was more chore than fun. But, finish it I did. Characters acting out of character does not make for a believable story. And, while some "coincidences" are bound to happen in the world, too many, involving the same people, and occurring in a short period of time (not to mention at just the right moment - but I"ll mention it anyway) take a book with an interesting premise and turn it into a book that's just OK. Per Amazon, that's three stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Graves VINE VOICE on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Paris Directive is a pleasant enough diversion about a murder investigation in rural France, but since the reader knows in advance who the killer is there lacks a sense of Who or why , of mystery, leading only to see how the police will work it out and what will they do to catch him.

When four wealthy, middle aged tourists, two Americans and two Canadians are brutally murdered in their rented farm house, the worst crime in the district since the 2nd World War the local authorities soon hand the case to Mazarelle, a former hot shot Paris detective who relocated to the region to tend his dying wife. Mazarelle soon proves out the prefect's faith in him by finding clues and discounting suspects the local police have made a mess of and is on the trail. The dialogue is good and the pacing, after a few missteps early on, good, but there is a problem with the book. You know who the murderer is.

In the opening pages you are introduced to a professional assassin who is hired for the killing and you follow him through his shell identities as he sets up for the kill. Since you already know the who and the when and, if a sharp reader, the why there is little sense of `who done it.' Instead it is, like those hour long TV detective `mysteries' in the 70's and 80's. The sort that had the reveal at the bottom of the hour and an exciting car chase 45 minutes in.
In a way this is the only disappointing part of the book for me. I like the pacing. I like the lead character and I like the development. Jay doesn't feel the need to lay out all of the character's life story when he first appears. Little things are revealed over time and it seems more organic this way.
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