- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: John M. Pearce
- Audible.com Release Date: April 4, 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00C702QK8
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Treasure of Saint-Lazare Audiobook – Unabridged
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I'll try not to include spoilers here, but to quickly lay out the plot, it's 2008, and a displaced American in Paris, Eddie Grant, gets sucked into a deadly search to find a Raphael painting that disappeared at the end of World War Two. Grant, a former soldier, follows in the footsteps of his late father, a military intelligence agent who once tracked down art looted by the Nazis. From Paris and Sarasota, assisted by a woman from his past, Jen Wetzmuller, he sets out to locate the priceless work of art. It's a race against time to find both the painting and the killers of Wetzmuller's father -- who also happened to be his own father's partner, Roy Castor, in finding stolen works of art. In fact, it's Castor's murder that touches off the rapidly unfolding and suspenseful chain of events that will have you holding your breath until the thrilling denouement.
The best thing about Pearce's book is how absolutely readable it is. Many new-ish authors lard up on descriptions as if they get paid by the adjective. His writing does description nicely in a spare way. Dialogue is realistic among characters, who are not at all cartoonish. The protagonist, Eddie Grant, has both an interesting past and a riveting dark side that keep the reader sympathetic to him. The book's unlikely and unexpected pairing of Paris and Sarasota as dual settings is unusual and quite different and unpretentious. Pearce does just as enthusiastic a job introducing readers to the City of Crackers as he does the City of Lights.
I actually felt this book was too short. It ended abruptly, and I was left wanting more -- more Eddie Grant, more Jen Wetzmuller and more intricate plot. Pearce has done a strong job introducing and developing characters, and I look forward to greeting them again in the pages of a new book.
If I have any suggestion for Pearce, it would be to treat his book like one of the fine French red wines his characters drink and let the plot (and the readers) breathe a bit. Much like a Hong Kong movie, action is a bit too fast-paced. Readers need more interludes, more time to reflect and absorb. This book could have run another 20 pages and would have been even better for it. Lastly, while I was fascinated to go inside the mixed- and expatriate culture of Americans abroad, absent a family tree, it was a bit hard to follow whose mother was French, who lived in Germany, who married whom and why. It was an early distraction in the book, but luckily, one that passed quickly and never again was a factor.
I wish Pearce luck. He's publishing under his own steam and his own label. It's a rough world out there to get your name in lights and your book on the bestseller list. I've read a lot of new authors recently, searching for the next pearl in the rough and a new author who doesn't just phone things in. With the Treasure of Saint-Lazare, I think I've found them. Now, Pearce just needs another few hundred thousand avid readers to agree with me and discover this book. They should. He is, indeed, ready for prime time.
Most recent customer reviews
To read the whole book I need to be kept in suspense until the very end of search. This book delivers that and much more.Read more