The World I Never Made: 06/11/09
Paris is one of those hot bed cities for international thrillers. Joining the ranks of The Bourne Identity and The Da Vinci Code (among others) is A World I Never Made, the debut novel by James LePore.
The novel starts with an apparent suicide and an estranged father being forced to come to Paris to claim the body of a daughter who will forever remind him of his wife's untimely death. The book though is no simple suicide investigation; the body in the morgue isn't Megan.
There are three main story lines and three protagonists: Pat Nolan (the father), Megan Nolan (the daughter) and Catherine Laurence (the lead investigator). There is large supporting cast including terrorists, the other members of the Paris police, and some gypsies. The present day (2004) search for Megan (both by Pat and Catherine) is intertwined with Megan's story (starting in 2003).
While the book doesn't have the art history and puzzles of The Da Vinci Code it does share the short chapters and the jumping around between locations. It also has the underlying mysticism in common.
For a debut novel, A World I Never Made is a strong start. It has memorable (although somewhat cliched) characters, interesting locations and a strong sense of time and place. It could be a little tighter and a little less melodramatic but it kept my attention.
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