A Riveting Investigation in 1940s Paris

Mark Pryor returns with the second installment of the Henri Lefort series, The Dark Edge of Night, an interesting blend of mystery and historical drama set in 1940 Paris.

Police Inspector Henri Lefort tackles two challenging cases amidst the chaos. The first involves the suspicious death of a Frenchman during a botched robbery. The second, imposed on him by the Gestapo, revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a neurologist involved in secretive work at a Paris hospital. As Lefort digs deeper, he discovers a chilling connection to several missing children’s cases.

Pryor excels in character development, presenting Lefort as a likable yet complex protagonist whose sharp instincts shine in the murky atmosphere of espionage and moral ambiguity. The secondary characters enrich the narrative, offering diverse perspectives that enhance the unfolding events and deepen the plot.

The pacing of the book is well-managed, maintaining suspense and momentum, though some scenes feel rushed. Despite this minor flaw, the tension escalates, culminating in a well-crafted climax that resolves the intricate plot threads.

Pryor’s meticulous attention to historical detail is a standout feature of the book. He skillfully integrates real historical figures like Virginia Hall, Jean Pierre Moulin, and Eric Sevareid into the narrative, enriching the story with authenticity and depth. Including lesser-known historical facts, such as the Nazis’ Aktion T4 euthanasia program, adds a profound layer of realism and horror, reflecting the grim realities of the era.

While the depiction of police methods might not sit well with all readers, the novel’s humor and engaging mystery make it an enjoyable read. 4 stars.

** I voluntarily read this book. The opinions are my own.

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