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Book Review: City of Light (City of Mystery: Book II)

By Kim Wright

Downloaded Free on 4/24/13

Finish time: 11 nights.  Not as good as the first book in this series.  This book started off really slow.  I had a hard time getting into the book and keeping track of characters.  Rayley Abrams is not a typical main character, but he was carried over from the previous book, and it brought the story from London to Paris. A few of the other characters came as well including Geraldine Bainbridge, a quirkly older socialite from London who always proves to be good company!

What started off as two separate investigations, came together as Detective Welles and Detective Abrams corresponded between London and Paris.  I enjoy a good crime show (Law & Order or CSI), so it was actually pretty interesting to see the advent of forensics (think CSI minus all technology) through early fingerprint analysis and blood testing (albeit on animals which I am NOT a fan of – but luckily we were spared details).  I also enjoyed the historical side of the book – the building of Eiffel’s Tower in preparation for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889.  Reminded me a bit of Devil in the White City in pointing out what celebrities, inventions, etc were debuted at this event.  As pointed out in the notes at the end, the event was real as well as the “crime” being investigated.  All the characters were fictionalized.  Very typical historical fiction!  It did leave me wondering if there is really a secret room on top of the Eiffel tower?  According to Wikipedia – apparently there is (in case you were curious too!)

The investigation/crime was a bit of a disturbing one (think Law & Order SVU worthy).  Luckily gory details were spared, and as I got further into the book, it did get much better as you take the journey with the detectives, and the motley crew they have put together, to investigate and eventually solve this crime.  Takes a bit of an unexpected turn with an unlikely final hero(ine), but ends very well.

The author does another great job at setting the scene and characters so you can really feel like you are a part of the journey.  So if you can hang on through the first 20% or so (I have no idea how many pages are in books anymore!), the ending is worth it and it was an enjoyable read.

Now – whether to continue with this author’s 3rd book – City of Silence (City of Mystery Book III) or pick up something a little lighter, as we leave on vacation in just 4 days!?  Stay tuned and find out!

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